The chairs you can only buy with kindness have been uniquely
designed by well-known illustrator and artist Mr Doodle.
We asked four elderly people to share their fascinating life stories with us and collaborated with illustrator, Mr Doodle, to bring their stories to life on four limited edition chairs. These were just a few examples of the many older people that are affected by loneliness today.
Ina grew up in Scotland where she spent much of her childhood visiting her Grandpa and marveling at the steam ships puttering along the River Glyde towards Glasgow.
This excitement for travel stayed with Ina throughout her life, as her and her husband made it their mission to be a team and travel the world together.
Ina was a ladies’ hairdresser by trade, the years perfecting her craft in a London salon meant she knew how to keep her hair perfect, even during the humid weather of their South American travels.
After retirement and being one to never rest on her laurels, Ina moved back home to Scotland to set up a curling club, where she spent many years curling and playing bridge with friends.
She is extremely excited to be a part of Spare Chair Sunday and looks forward to being invited over for a roast and a chat to share more of her stories.
Connie grew up in Yorkshire and is a Yorkshire lass through and through. It’s not just where she was born but it’s her favourite place in the world.
Connie’s mother was a seamstress and her father a plumber. Money was tight and so her parents instilled the importance of working hard, which was something Connie brought to her work for many years.
While working for a light bulb factory, Connie met her husband at a dance at the local town hall. They soon fell in love.
Connie always called it true love and believes this love is what kept them together even through the tough times. Connie’s husband went away for 3 years to go to war in the Middle East, where the only way of them communicating was through the letter she sent him every week.
Connie often sits alongside the River Wharfe to reminisce about the good times she had with her husband. Her fondest memories are the big Christmas parties they would host every year, which of course always included her favourite meal, a home cooked turkey roast dinner.
Connie was part of Spare Chair Sunday 2015 and made friends for life with the family that hosted her. So she is very excited to be a part of it again this year.
Valerie grew up in a household that loved theatre. Her father and sister both worked in the business which meant it was common place for famous actors to be round the table for dinner.
Valerie's father would often invite her on stage to perform in his acts in front of a packed-out theatre. Although at age 11, Valerie decided she did not want to pursue acting as a career but rather fall in love, get married and have a family.
At 18 years old, Valerie was called up to be a land girl and work on a farm in Elsbury. Her job was to shift the bales of hay from the top of the horse’s cart. This was short lived, as even though she gave it her best, the doctor deemed her too petite for this back-breaking work.
Valerie’s wish to fall in love and get married, soon became reality as she married her husband at 19 while working in a bakery.
Valerie loves a roast dinner, especially with gravy and all the trimmings. Her fondest memory was Christmas, when her and her husband would try and make the perfect roast with all the trimmings for her whole family to enjoy.
Mr Doodle is a crazy doodler from England who has partnered with Bisto’s Spare Chair Sunday project and charity Contact the Elderly to help combat loneliness in old age. He has brought to life four older people's fascinating stories by creating four bespoke chairs to help launch the Spare Chair Sunday project for 2017.
In his other work, Mr Doodle uses a mixture of characters, objects and patterns with influences ranging from cereal boxes, video games and old cartoons, resulting in a fun and unique blend of doodle craziness. You can find Mr Doodle's work increasingly across the world in the form of murals and installations in people's homes, offices and on the streets.