More volunteers wanted for befriending service

Silver Talk volunteer call handler Joan Shaw, left, with Lindsay Warren, Isos Supported Housing team leader.
Silver Talk volunteer call handler Joan Shaw, left, with Lindsay Warren, Isos Supported Housing team leader.
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A service that is reaching out to the lonely and housebound in Northumberland is appealing for more volunteers.

Silver Talk, run by housing provider Isos, needs additional call handlers to join its nine-strong team – which keeps in regular, weekly contact with elderly tenants.

Operating from its offices in Burn Lane, Hexham, the free and confidential befriending service is available to its tenants across the county. They can apply to receive one or more calls per week.

Set up just a year ago, it is now accessed by 19 users. However, Isos Supported Housing team leader Lindsay Warren is hoping that with more volunteers on board, it could reach many more.

She said: “Older people can become very isolated, particularly if they live in some of Northumberland’s smaller, more rural communities.

“This service is all about trying to prevent that in a very simple way – with a phone call.

“Our volunteers do a fantastic job and we would love to be able to reach more people, particularly in the run-up to Christmas and into the new year.

“This period can be a difficult and lonely time for some, and a service like this can be a real lifeline.”

Anyone interested in being a Silver Talk volunteer should call 0300 3001505. Tenants, aged 60 and over, can ring this number to register their interest if they want to sign up to receive calls from the service.