Age UK Cheshire East’s telephone befriending service is looking to expand its calls to older people following the recruitment of new volunteers to its ranks.
The service, aptly named Keep in Touch, was first developed in response to the urgent need by many isolated and lonely older people for some companionship when the pandemic first hit hard in March last year. Since then, over 140 older people have been supported by the service, receiving weekly calls from one of our friendly volunteers.
Due to the phenomenal success and value of the service, a waiting list had begun to build up, meaning new volunteers were desperately needed to meet that demand. Following an ongoing recruitment campaign, the charity is now in a position to offer more calls to older people needing extra support during these difficult times.
Since its formation, the service, currently supported financially by the Charities Aid Foundation, has become invaluable to older people who have felt so isolated and lonely during the numerous lockdowns and restrictions that have been in place over the last year. Those receiving the calls have spoken enthusiastically about the positive impact it has had on their lives over the last year. Some of the comments include:
🗨 Absolutely brilliant – my volunteer has lifted me a lot and makes me feel so much better – such a lovely lovely lady
🗨 the days are long and lonely and I really look forward to the call, it has helped me so much
🗨 It’s something to look forward to – if I had nothing to look forward to I would be miserable – it’s good to know someone is going to call
🗨 When we finish talking I feel on a high, and so much better!
As well as the older people receiving the calls, the volunteers who make the calls also get a huge amount of satisfaction, particularly knowing what a big difference they are making to the lives of the people they call.
One of Keep in Touch’s volunteers, Miriam, from Prestbury, says of one of her calls to an older lady each week “she is always very happy when I call and remembers who I am as soon as I say ‘Hi’. She has become like a grandma figure to me now. She is always full of wise words and is happy to share her stories and life experiences with me.” Coincidentally, Miriam is also studying for a Masters degree in Gerontology so the calls give her a valuable insight to support those studies.
The service is now looking to expand those it supports further, and is looking for any older person in Cheshire East who feels that they would benefit from receiving such a call from one of our team. To access the service, they can call us on 01625 612958 or going online to find out more at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/cheshireeast/our-services/keep-in-touch/