A husband and wife in north London got a call from the beloved Coronation Street actress Maureen Lipman as part of a Jewish News campaign to tackle loneliness.
Daphne Berkovi, from Hampstead Garden Suburb, has been a carer for her husband Jack, a dialysis patient diagnosed with multiple myeloma, for approximately a decade.
She reached out to Jewish News after Lipman pledged to call some readers staying at home during the pandemic as part of the newspaper’s Keep Talking appeal.
The actress, who famously starred as Beattie in the 1980s BT adverts, called the Berkovi couple, both in their seventies, last week. A GIFT volunteer delivered shopping to the family on Sunday after Jewish News got in touch with the charity.
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Lipman, whose late husband the award-winning screenwriter Jack Rosenthal died of complications from multi-myeloma in 2004, is an honorary patron of the International Myeloma Foundation UK.
“I just said I was so delighted. It made such a difference and my husband was sitting here and he thought it was wonderful, absolutely wonderful of her to do that. Having that connection, and someone like that, who’s just very natural and very friendly and has a very wonderful sense of humour, it’s so important,” Mrs Berkovi told Jewish News on Tuesday.
“It’s quite hard to think you’ve got at least three months of being isolated. It’s quite difficult,” she added. “She wanted to talk and get engaged, and I hope it will continue. It’s very important for people like us, especially when you’re caring for someone.”
Dame Esther Rantzen backed the campaign, supported by JW3 and Jewish Care, and urged the public to follow Lipman’s lead.
“It’s so important for us all to stay connected. This is a terrific idea and I urge everyone to pick up the phone and keep in touch,” she said on Monday.
Email Jewish News on firstname.lastname@example.org to take part in the Keep Talking campaign.