by Marisanna Tersigni

"A friend is what the heart needs all the time." – Henry van Dyke

Filippo and Helen

Filippo and Helen

Over the past six months, Helen and Filippo have connected through North York Community House’s Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers program (NCSC). Part of the collaborative, this Friendly Visiting mentorship program was created to match isolated caregivers (55 years and older) with volunteers who offer their support and a connection to the community.

Filippo is a caregiver to a close relative and Helen is a Volunteer Mentor, and together, they are one of the many successful matches taking part in the NCSC program. On a weekly basis, the two of them connect at a local library and over the phone.

“It’s nice having conversations with my mentor. I am content that I met her this year." - Filippo

Filippo and Helen are respectful of one another and this openness has allowed for a friendly exchange and a successful mentoring relationship. They have exchanged stories and experiences, and as a result, have built trust and mutual respect. Helen expressed that their constant communication and updates over the past six months is one positive aspect of their match.

“Together, we made a significant difference to the caregiver and care receiver’s needs, reduced isolation, enhanced his life and created an enriching experience for both of us." - Helen

Filippo shared similar thoughts and is grateful for Helen’s support, availability and friendship. He gained a new source of support this year with the NCSC program. Out of this experience, Filippo has been able to practice speaking English and has become more comfortable speaking to others. He has also been connected to a variety of community supports including healthcare and other resources. He shared, “(Helen) even accompanied me to an appointment which was a great help”. Filippo’s kindness and friendliness has been appreciated by Helen and all of us at NYCH.

“Friendly visiting is a great idea because it helps to increase one’s self-confidence. Our mentoring relationship has yielded some positive stories in our lives." - Helen

“Everyone I have met here has been fantastic. They are very kind and helpful. I feel like I am one of you." - Filippo

Please contact Shova for more information on our Friendly Visiting program, social programs, and educational workshops for older adults: or 647-208-9733.