OWLS - Older volunteers combating lockdown loneliness

Phone a New Friend - enables older people who are shielded to help another older person from home, and is helping to combat lockdown loneliness.

All over this city, older people are more isolated than ever before. Lockdown has increased loneliness, especially in one-person households.

Many older people also feel that they can't help in the current crisis. They see others volunteering, helping with shopping and essential supplies, and supporting their local communities, but older people who are shielded have told OWLS that they don't feel needed.

Phone a New Friend is responding to this - by asking local older people to volunteer to help by making a regular friendly phone call to another older person they've not met yet. The volunteers have told us how much they value this work, and are seeing the benefits themselves. They are helping others, and helping themselves at the same time. 

Pamela is a volunteer with Phone a New Friend, who has been speaking to Tom each week since lockdown started. She tells her story here: https://youtu.be/RdgDfzR9wUU

Alice, another Phone a Friend volunteer, has made friends with Shenaz who is 30 years her junior. They talk about anything and everything, and are helping each other through this isolating period of their lives. You hear from Alice and Shenaz here: https://youtu.be/UDCTWIw9WOU

OWLS is inviting older people living in Burley, Headingley, Hyde Park, Kirkstall and Little Woodhouse to volunteer to help combat lockdown loneliness by joining Phone a New Friend. It takes a simple phone call once a week, and is already making a big difference. 

If you would like to volunteer for Phone a New Friend please call OWLS on 0113 369 7077 or email infoowls@gmail.com