A MAN has been praised for his kindness after striking up an ‘unlikely friendship’ with a 74-year-old woman who he rang almost every day during lockdown.

Dave Watson, from Staincross, met his friend Joan Holbrook, from Elsecar, around five years ago when volunteering at a community event.

Since then, Dave and Joan have become best friends and regularly met up with each other before lockdown.

Joan lives alone with nerve and heart complications so was forced to self-isolate, so found getting essentials incredibly difficult.

Dave ensured to give Joan a call almost everyday during the lockdown to check in with her, bring her prescriptions or any essentials she needed.

He said: “Me and Joan get on incredibly well and have a laugh with one another.

“During the pandemic, I wanted to keep in regular contact with her as I knew she was alone and so I wanted to help.

“I would give her a call and ask her about her day and if there was anything she needed.

“I’ve delivered her food, essentials, and tried to offer her a friendly voice which I think is really important.”

Dave has thanked Joan for friendship this year as she has been a morale booster for him over the past few months.

“Joan has been a lovely distraction and really lifted my spirit as well – it definitely works both ways.

“She’s funny, articulate and a great friend to me so I wanted to return the favour during these tough times.

“I’m looking forward to reuniting with her properly soon for a chinwag. It’s important that people come together to look after one another.”

Joan has praised Dave for going the ‘extra mile’ to make sure she was looked after whilst isolating.

Joan said: “I live alone and have problems with my nerves and my heart so it was always going to be difficult during lockdown.

“Dave has helped me a great deal and I look forward to his calls as he’s an ordinary chap with a heart of gold.

“We joke that I’m his surrogate grandma and it really feels like that at times. I’m incredibly thankful for him calling me during a tough time for everyone.”