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Age UK telephone friendship

A friendly chat when you need it

Thousands of older people have made lasting friendships, or simply enjoyed a chat when they wanted one, through our free telephone friendship service and the Silver Line helpline.

What is telephone friendship?

As we get older, we may find we spend more time on our own. This can sometimes feel lonely, boring or make us miss friends or family.

If you or someone you know is missing the joy of regular conversation, Age UK and our partner charity The Silver Line can help. 

We offer free telephone friendship services so you can enjoy chatting with someone over the phone, all from the comfort of your own home. 

Whether you’d like to speak to someone every week, or just want to talk when the need strikes, we’re here to help.

How does telephone friendship work?

We have two different telephone friendship services available. 

  1. Regular telephone friendship service. We match over-60s with a friendly volunteer for a weekly chat. Our service has helped create hundreds of new friendships, and many people tell us their calls are the highlight of their week. To get started, just tell us a bit about yourself and we’ll do the rest. 
  2. The Silver Line Helpline, a 24-hour service. Our charity, The Silver Line, is a free confidential telephone service just for older people. We provide people with friendship, conversation and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Sign up for regular telephone friendship calls 

Find out more about The Silver Line helpline

Heart icon We'll be with you soon

We’re currently receiving very high numbers of referrals for our service, meaning the wait to join the service may be longer than usual. Please continue to refer to our service and our team will get to your referral as soon as they can. There’s no need to contact us once you’ve made the referral – please be assured we'll be in touch as soon as we can.

Is our telephone friendship service for you?

Our services are here for people in later life who’d like to talk to someone. You don’t need to be feeling lonely (though if you are, we’d like to help), and you don’t need to live on your own. Sometimes it’s just nice to talk. 

To sign up for our regular telephone friendship service, where someone calls each week, you need to:

  • be over 60
  • have your own landline or mobile phone
  • be able to hear and be understood over the phone.
  • commit to a regular call at the same time each week.

Our achievements (2022-23)


93% of older people say their wellbeing improved since receiving friendship calls.


The Silver Line Helpline answered 192.908 calls from older people

Is there anyone who can’t use telephone friendship services?

Our telephone friendship services may not be as helpful for people with memory loss, dementia or mental health issues who need a higher level support. These conditions may affect the person's ability to build a telephone friendship and, in some instances, people with these conditions may actually find the calls more distressing. 

If you’re not sure if our telephone friendship services can support you or someone you know, please call 0800 434 6105 to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you find the right support.

Frequently asked questions

What if I don't get along with my friend?

Sometimes it may take time to build a relationship with your telephone friend. You'll have been matched on your shared interests, so we 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.

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What if I can't make my time slot?

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 may be worried about whether you're OK or not.

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Is it safe?

We want to make sure everything's safe and secure, so before you receive a call from your telephone friend we will have:

  • Asked them to provide 2 references.
  • Checked their name and date of birth matches at their address, and that they are who they say they are.
  • Asked them to declare any unspent criminal convictions.
  • Asked them to agree with our terms and conditions. All our calls are recorded and we will listen to a sample of these.

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Will I have to give out my personal phone number?

No, don't worry. Our computer automatically connects you with your telephone friend, so you won't need to give them your personal phone number.

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

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What if I don't want to talk for as long as 30 minutes, or I want to talk longer?

This is only a guideline for the length of a call. If you talk for less, or a bit more, than 30 minutes, that's fine.

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Are my personal details and phone number safe?

Yes. We will only use your email address and telephone number to contact you about your weekly call.

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Phone icon Ready for your weekly call?

Then get in touch and we'll get to work.

Want to talk to someone now?

Call the Silver Line - free and confidential - on 0800 4 70 80 90.

We also run group calls

We offer group calls for older people who share a maritime or Royal Air Force background. Find out more about how group calls work.

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