Call in time

Over 1 million older people in the UK always or often feel lonely and over half of all people aged 75 and over live alone. Isolation is a huge problem for many older people, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

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In 2005 Help the Aged and Zurich Community Trust set up the Call in Time programme. Call in Time is a telephone befriending service, where volunteers call an older person on a regular basis.

Since its launch, the programme has provided a lifeline to hundreds of older people. Last year, Help the Aged and Zurich Community Trust commissioned a report into the impact of the Call in Time volunteering programme. The research, carried out by the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Metropolitan University, has shown that telephone befriending services: 'Provide a vital service for older people who are socially isolated and lonely.’

Receiving a regular phone call has been shown to:

  • Increase self-confidence
  • Reduce fear and anxiety
  • Help older people re-engage with their community

As one beneficiary said: ‘You can’t put it into words. It’s just knowing that there’s somebody there, especially when you live on your own. It’s just priceless.’

After a very successful pilot, the programme is now in its second phase and is expanding rapidly.

We are now looking for other companies who are interested in supporting a service that makes such a difference to older people.

If you would like to know more about the Call in Time programme please call 0800 169 6565 or email

Find out more about Zurich at their Zurich Community Trust website.

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