An inspiring new initiative to support lonely and isolated people has been launched by Citizens Advice Rutland.
The Telephone Befriender Service reaches out to people who live alone but lack regular contact with family or friends.
Chief executive officer of Citizens Advice Rutland Jane Clayton-Jones said that sometimes a sudden change in circumstances such as bereavement or illness can have a serious impact on a person’s wellbeing.
Loneliness is a significant problem, particularly in rural areas like Rutland –not only for the over 65s but also younger age groups.
Yet a regular chat on the phone can make a huge difference, act as a pick-me-up and help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Jane said: “Christmas can be a particularly lonely time of the year and we can make a difference.
“As a client recently said the phone call is a reason to get up in the morning.”
All befrienders are fully trained volunteers who make regular contact via weekly phone calls. During the 20-minute call, they listen and let the person talk - and as trust is established, share life’s ups and downs, news and laughter. All conversations are strictly confidential.
Referrals are made from a variety of different agencies and organisations including GPs, Spire Homes and Social Services.
For further information call Sheila Fletcher on 01572 723494 or call into the office at 56 High Street, Oakham.