Re-engage are delighted to announce our new free telephone befriending service 'Call Companions' and we are now actively seeking referrals throughout Yorkshire.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, at Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) we have suspended our regular social gatherings and have created a new service for older people called call companions.
The guests in our existing groups are receiving calls from volunteers and we now have volunteer capacity to reach more older people and want call companions to be a permanent addition to our work. Our call companion's idea is very simple: a volunteer call companion calls the same older person between two and four times a month at a mutually agreed time for an informal chat. Calls will last for around 30 minutes. Just like our social gatherings, the call companions programme is aimed at people who are:
- 75 or older
- living alone or in sheltered housing with little or no contact with family or friends
- struggle to leave their house in normal times
In addition, for call companions we ask that the older people have sufficiently good hearing to take on regular phone conversations. At the time the older person is referred, we’ll ask a general question about the older person’s interests or hobbies to make sure we match them with a volunteer and to help spark conversation.
Our volunteers all receive training, which includes safeguarding, signposting to other services, and how to engage in difficult conversations. Call companions are supported by call coordinators who monitor the success of the partnership for both the older person and volunteer. If an older person takes part and subsequently decides it is not for them, there is an easy way for them to leave.
If you know anyone who would benefit from call companions, please refer them using our simple online form. Don’t forget to get the older person’s consent first. You can find the form on our website at Refer an older person to CC
Once we receive the application, we will start the process of matching the older person with a volunteer and you will hear back from us shortly. Call companions offers a crucial link to older people who are at risk of falling further into social isolation as a result of quarantine measures.
We look forward to receiving referrals from you.