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Volunteer as a telephone befriender

Happy woman on the phone

Would you like to provide regular companionship and support to an older person?

Yes, I'd love to volunteer to chat to someone every week.

Sign me up today  

Sign up to get a call

What is Call in Time?

Call in Time is a free public telephone befriending service that matches volunteers with older members of the public.

Not having someone to talk to regularly can be lonely and isolating, particularly if you're used to sharing your home and time with others.

A friendly, weekly, 30-minute chat on the phone can make all the difference.

While we're waiting to find a suitable match for an older member of the public, we carry out regular, short Good Day Calls with them, to make sure they're still being talked to.  

Darranda

'It's the highlight of my week'

Darranda explains why she loves volunteering as a telephone befriender.

Watch Darranda's story

no one should have no one

What's great about Call in Time?

  • A free way to give something back through a weekly call to an older person
  • Our dedicated Call in Time team will match you with someone who has shared interests
  • Your calls make a huge difference to the happiness and wellbeing of an older person
  • We protect the safety of all volunteers by automatically connecting them with their telephone friend, which means no personal telephone numbers need to be exchanged

How does Call in Time work?

Call in Time follows a straightforward process.

  1. You sign up and complete your profile online
  2. We then match you with a suitable older person based on your interests.
  3. Age UK will then connect you with your telephone friend to begin your weekly calls.

What's expected of me?

  • A short 30-minute call at the same time each week, so it's easy for you and your telephone friend to arrange your schedules
  • We understand things can come up, but let us know if you need to cancel or rearrange a call so we can update your telephone friend
  • Conversations you have with your telephone friend should be kept confidential
  • Let us know if you have problems with the telephone service so we can assist you in the best way possible.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. What training do I need?

We will provide you with online training before you make your first call. This will include how you make your call, listening skills, staying safe, and ideas on what to talk about. We're also here to support you every step of the way.

Q2. What if my telephone friend needs some assistance?

You can give your telephone friend the Freephone number of Age UK Advice (0800 169 65 65).

Age UK Advice is open from 8am – 7pm, seven days a week (including public holidays) to older people and their families to get information across a range of subjects which affect older people.

Through Age UK Advice and our local Age UKs, we are able to help older people access advice, support and other local services.

Q3. What if I'm unable to make my call because I'm off sick?

If you can’t make your call then please let us know. We can try and arrange for you to make the call at another time that week.

If you don't let us know, then your telephone friend will be waiting for your call that will not be made.

Q4. What if my friend doesn't answer when I call?

Try not to worry. This could be because they are having phone problems, or had a last minute appointment and haven’t had time to tell us.

Our telephone system will try calling them again in a few minutes in case they weren’t able to get to the phone in time. If there's still no answer we will continue trying to contact them.

Q5. What if I don't get on with my friend or we have nothing in common?

Sometimes it may take time to build a relationship with your telephone friend. You will have been matched on your shared interests, so we would always recommend having a few calls before making a judgment.

If you're really struggling then please let us know and we'll talk you through the options available.

Q6. How is my telephone number kept anonymous?

Our computer automatically connects you with your telephone friend so you do not need to give out your personal phone number.

We ask that you don't share personal details - including your address and telephone number - with your telephone friend.


Want to sign up to call someone?

Volunteer to sign up

or call the team
0800 434 6105