A MAN who only two years ago was on a mission to make friends celebrated his 95th birthday surrounded by people who care for him.

In 2022, the Chronicle reported that Raymond Horsley, from Athersley North, had reached out to Age Concern hoping to socialise with people his age.

This followed an extensive period of loneliness, as he lived on his own and was partially blind.

Last year he began going to the Friendship Lunches at Toby Carvery, and last Thursday celebrated his 95th birthday at the monthly event, bringing with him 22 family and friends.

Alongside friends and family, Mayor of Barnsley Mick Stowe and Penistone MP Miriam Cates joined to congratulate him, while musician Oliver Harris provided entertainment.

Community consultant Kathy Markwick – who organises the events – said: “Raymond is a perfect example of how people can make new friends at these events and age is certainly no barrier.”