Valentin Dumitrache started a new life in the UK after leaving Romania in 2015. He felt the time was right for a move and also to help the LGBT+ community.
Since April 2023, Valentin, 40, has been a rainbow call companion, keeping in regular contact with John.
Valentin, who lives in London; explained: “I left Romania because I wanted to try something new.
“I wanted to be there for someone who was lonely and gay. When I found Re-engage during an internet search for volunteering, I thought that was for me. I’m glad I signed up. The calls are very fulfilling because I love listening to people and hearing their stories. John is very knowledgeable and likes elegant things. We don’t talk about problems but good, positive things.
“John is very lonely. He doesn’t get out as much as he’d like because he doesn’t have too many friends. So, he enjoys the calls and I also get a lot from them.”
In Romania, Valentin was a contract manager for the national Post Office, liaising with major telecoms companies such as Vodafone and Orange. He now works for an audit company and makes annual visits to Romania to see his mum.
“It was quite a prestigious and well-paid job back home,” he said. “But I wanted a change and I felt I should do it at that time or miss an opportunity. It was difficult at the beginning, starting from scratch, finding jobs and so on but now I’m very happy. I feel privileged to have been adopted by the UK.
“Some people say the British are cold but I haven’t found that. They are always ready to help you.
“I hope that when I’m older I will have someone who can make calls to me so I don’t feel alone.”