83% of the older people we work with say they now have something to look forward to
Whether they’re a friend, relative, neighbour, service user or patient, we’re here to help.
We’ve been dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation for more than 50 years, building a strong track record in supporting older people throughout the UK.
Why introduce someone to us?
We run a number of services for people aged 75 and older who live alone. All of our activities are free and include:
Telephone befriending through call companions
Our call companion volunteers make regular telephone calls to lonely and isolated older people providing a lifeline of friendship. The regular chat and companionship offers a vital link with the outside world.
Over time, call companions and the older person they are paired with will get to know each other well and will spend many hours of fun and laughter, sharing stories as well as offering vital support over the phone.
LGBT+ telephone befriending through rainbow call companions
Following the success of our call companions service, we have launched rainbow call companions, our LGBT+ telephone befriending service. Our rainbow call companion volunteers make regular telephone calls to lonely and isolated older LGBT+ people, providing a lifeline of friendship. This regular chat and companionship offers a vital link with the outside world.
Social tea party groups
Our tea parties are monthly social groups run across the UK. They are a chance for a change of scenery and regular afternoons of conversation and laughter with friends of all ages.
Older guests are taken to the tea parties and home again so don’t need to worry about organising travel.
Our online and face-to-face activity groups are held throughout Wales and West Yorkshire.
Delivered by Re-engage volunteers, they help older people stay active and meet new people.
Each group takes part in a gentle activity such as dancing, chair yoga, gardening, tai chi and boules, and there is always plenty of time afterwards for refreshments and a chat.
Who can refer
Anyone can introduce an older person to us, including family, friends, social and health care professionals, day centres, churches and other charities. We welcome referrals from NHS link workers.
Most of the older people we support live alone or in sheltered housing and have little or no contact with family or friends. Many of them struggle to leave their home in normal times.
How does call companions work?
Our call companions idea is very simple:
- A volunteer call companion regularly calls the same older person for an informal chat
- They talk on the phone two to four times a month at a mutually agreed time
- Calls will last for around 30 minutes.
How do tea parties work?
1. Once a month, on a Sunday
A group of about 10-15 people will gather at a volunteer hosts's home.
2. Volunteer drivers
Collect our older guests from their home and take them to their tea party.
3. Guests share tea, cake, companionship
And a change of scene for an afternoon.
4. Time to go
Our volunteer drivers take older guests safely back home and enjoy a bit of one to one company on the drive home before the next tea party.
Nurse, NHS Scotland
As a Mental Health Staff Nurse, I see at close quarters the detrimental effect loneliness and isolation can have. I started to refer patients in the hope that it would help alleviate that loneliness. I can now truly say that attending the groups can make a huge difference.