A CHARITY tackling loneliness in Uttoxeter has met with a group for older people to talk about how they help those struggling alone.
Jo Bradley, project coordinator for Derbyshire Dales Careline, explained to members of the Uttoxeter and District Forum 50 Plus how they help people by simply calling them.
Careline has been helping people in the Derbyshire Dales for the last 15 years but, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, it has extended its services to Uttoxeter and wants to make more people aware of what they can offer.
Members of the forum were told that volunteers from Careline ring people as often as they want.
Ms Bradley said: “Loneliness now is more high profile but we have been offering this service for 15 years.
“We offer phone calls to people which helps them to remain living independently. It is a free service and we work every day including Christmas and bank holidays.
“A lot of our members are slightly older but there is one thing they all have in common – most of them tend to feel extremely lonely.
“With living in rural communities a lot of our members can go days without seeing or talking to anyone which is quite hard for us to imagine. We appreciate how much of a difference a call makes.”
The service Careline offers is tailored to the needs of the individual, with some members wanting a long chat and others just a quick hello.
Ms Bradley added: “The calls do make a massive difference. We had someone who is from a big family but as the youngest she has now lost a lot of her family and she hardly has any calls.
“Others have said they love talking to the volunteers as they have a laugh and laughter is the best medicine.
“The calls are also a way of safeguarding people as we take an emergency contact number so if we cannot get hold of someone we can get someone to check on them.”
Careline is always looking for more volunteers to join the team and is urging anyone interested to get in touch. Members do have to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Anyone wanting to fund-raise is also urged to get in touch. More information is available at www.carelinecalling.co.uk or on 01335 210353.