AN elderly man who is partially blind and lives by himself is on the hunt for new friends following an extensive period of loneliness.

Raymond Horsley, 93, from Athersley North, reached out to Age Concern hoping to socialise with people of a similar age.

The community nurse who spends time with him, Saphrone Lynch, told the Chronicle that Raymond was told by the charity they had a day centre and invited him to attend.

“He was so excited when they made him aware of the day centre, he was really looking forward to spending time with some people of a similar age to him,” Saphrone said.

“But when he spent the day there, he was really upset because the others had memory problems and weren’t able to have a conversation with him - which is the main reason he wanted to go.

“Raymond is lucky in the sense that he still has all his faculties and an excellent memory - he just wants people to talk to because he doesn’t have any family.

“I’m the only person he sees.”

In his spare time, Raymond likes to compose poems, writing about a variety of subjects, including losing his sight, losing his wife and the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Saphrone added: “He records himself using a cassette tape and asks his neighbour to write it up for him afterwards.

“He’s the sweetest man and doesn’t realise how talented he is.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Raymond - he just wants people to talk to and share interests with.

“Having seen his poems, he’s absolutely amazing, they read brilliantly.

“He’s expressed his loneliness to me many times and it breaks my heart.

“I just want to do something special for him, and hopefully, it might raise the attention of other people who might be interested in making a new friend.”