Marc Riley – Cyril Flint’s new Patron

Cyril Flint Befrienders Welcomes Marc Riley as Patron

‘I first became aware of Cyril in the November of 2011. I trundled off into the kitchen only to find my wife Trace sat at the table, reading the local paper, in what I can only describe as a ‘heap’. Now knowing my Trace it could well have been a story about a local Staffordshire Bull Terrier that went missing at Sale Water Park…but it wasn’t…it was something much more in need of urgent attention than that. Trace was reading the story of a local man called Cyril Flint who was lonely and was once again (not) looking forward to another Christmas dinner on his own. The appeal had been instigated by one of the bosses, Dan O’Donoghue of the Human Support Group that provided Cyril with daily home care.

Thankfully Cyril’s plight struck as much of a chord with hundreds of other people as it did with Trace and I… and he was inundated with offers. The response to the article led to Dan recognising there were not only people out there who were lonely and needed companionship, but there were also people who were desperate to help. So the ‘Cyril Flint Befriender’ charity began. Almost seven years later I find my wife Trace is now one of the volunteers and has struck up a firm friendship with her new best mate Beryl (a fellow Man City supporter)…and I the Patron of this brilliant organisation. If life proves to be kind enough to you and I, we will eventually reach an old age. If we are very fortunate we will have a circle of loved ones and friends who will be there for companionship. Try to imagine having no-one to share your thoughts and laughs with, or your woes, it doesn’t bear thinking about. That’s why when Dan asked me to be the Patron for his befriending charity I replied “It’d be an honour”. And indeed it is.

If you’ve ever heard one of my radio broadcasts over the last 28 years, well (1) Sorry… and (2) you will know that I’m not an overly serious character. I choose to laugh my way through life wherever possible, and aided by Cyril Flint’s memory you might well be able to help create much of the same joy for not only yourself but also someone else desperately in need of some happiness in their lives.

Thankfully there appears to be a healthy number of good people out there who want to spend some of their downtime in the company of a lonely older person. Less plentiful though are the funds to help organise and administrate this army of kindness. If you would like to donate to Cyril’s charity then thank you… you can do so by clicking here. If you’d like to be ‘hands-on’ but don’t live in the South Manchester area and simple geography stands in your way then maybe you could organise a fund-raising event? A pub quiz? A coffee-morning? A welly-throwing tournament? Anything apart from a ‘Throw a DJ in a lake’ competition really! Whatever you can do to help could well prove to be a life-saver for a lonely person who has little or no joy in their life.

Thanks for your time.’

Marc RileyX BBC 6 Music.

Photo of Marc supplied by Michael Powell.

If you are interested in fundraising for Cyril Flint Befrienders or want to find out more about fundraising options, please contact: Alex Neil: [email protected] 

Marc Riley Needs You

Pub Quiz Night

If you are interested in hosting your own quiz night to raise funds for Cyril Flint Befrienders, get in touch for a free Quiz Pack, including a special Music round written by me! All enquiries should be sent to Alex Neil: [email protected]