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Guide to Telephone Befriending Services for Older People

Published on: 24 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 24 Apr, 2024

A charity that supports older people who are lonely or isolated is inviting them to sign-up to receive a volunteer phone companion.

Re-engage says it is dedicated to reducing isolation among people aged 75 and over. It says in Surrey one in three retired people live alone.

Its services are free of charge.

Re-engage is dedicated to reducing isolation among people aged 75 and over.

It is one of a number of initiatives operating in the Guildford area in which volunteers provide a useful service being a friendly voice on the phone calling an elderly person typically once a week for a chat.

Ed Nash, Re-engage’s engagement team manager.

Ed Nash is Re-engage’s engagement team manager. He said: “We know many older people are reduced to just sitting at home alone, hoping someone will make contact as they have no family or friends.

“Re-engage has plenty of volunteers ready to befriend someone in this unenviable situation by making regular weekly calls. These provide a lifeline for an older person and ensures they stay in touch with the outside world.

“It’s only an hour a week so it’s not a big commitment but it’s amazing how a simple call can have a massive impact.

Re-engage points out that it also runs 10 free tea party groups in Surrey and north-east Hampshire including those in Guildford, Reigate Camberley, Farnborough and Aldershot.

They run monthly and hosts provide free tea, cakes and sandwiches and volunteer drivers take the older people to and from the venues.

For more details click on this link: Find a call companion: phone befriending & companionship ( Or call 0800 716543.

Similar services in the Guildford area include:

Community Angels, which is provided by the Guildford Town Centre Chaplaincy.

This is a befriending project for vulnerable adults of any age. This may include those who face loneliness, isolation, illness or other personal difficulties.

Its volunteers visit people in their homes, providing companionship and support to reconnect with the local community.

Support is personalised and may range from chatting over a cup of tea to going for walks, trying a new activity, or accessing other types of help. Some adults may require short-term support through a difficult time, whilst others may benefit from longer term visits.

Click here for details.

Age UK Surrey offers its Check in and Chat service.

It says: “We will talk to you first so we can best match you with an Age UK Surrey Volunteer who will arrange a mutually convenient time to call. Staying in touch really matters.

“Our Check in and Chat service has helped create many new friendships, and many people tell us these calls are the best part of their week. To get started, just get in touch with us.”

Click here for details.

The Silver Line helpline for older people. It run by Age UK and is a free, confidential telephone service for older people. It provides friendship, conversation and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Click here for details.

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