A friendly chat when you need it
We can offer a free, weekly social telephone call from a friendly Age UK Wiltshire volunteer to older people who are spending long periods on their own at home or who may have caring responsibilities that isolate them from the outside world.
Important Notice - Closed to new referrals
We're currently experiencing a high demand for our service and we are unable to take any new referrals for telephone befriending at this time. Please visit our Clubs and Social Search page for information about other telephone friendship services available.
What is telephone befriending?
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 Wiltshire can help.
We offer a free telephone befriending service so you can enjoy chatting with someone over the phone, all from the comfort of your own home.
How does it telephone befriending work?
We match over 65s who are experiencing loneliness and isolation, spend most of their time at home alone or who have caring responsibilities that mean they can't get out, with a friendly volunteer for a weekly chat. Our service has helped create many new friendships, and many people tell us their calls are the highlight of their week. To get started, we'll just need to know a bit about yourself and we’ll do the rest.
Who is the service for?
To sign up for our regular telephone befriending service, where someone calls each week, you need to:
- be over 65
- be experiencing a period of loneliness or isolation
- be spending most of your time alone or as a carer
- have identified that receiving a weekly call would make a significant difference to your well-being
- have your own landline or mobile phone
- be able to hear and be understood over the phone.
- be able to take a call on the day agreed with your volunteer
What if I'm not eligible or want a different service?
Please see our page Local Clubs, Services and Groups search page for details of other services, including those covering Swindon, and a list of lunch clubs and social group suggestions around the county.
We'd encourage you to discuss how you're feeling with your GP in the first instance, and below support services may also be able to help:
- The charity SANE have a telephone advice line: 07984 967 708 for people experiencing mental health difficulties and low mood.
- The charity The Calm Zone have a telephone helpline 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight) for anyone feeling low in mood and wanting someone to talk to.
- The Avon and Wiltshire partnership mental health team have a 24hr support line during COVID19 which can be contacted on 0300 303 1320.
- The charity Cruse offer free bereavement support and counselling through appointments in Bath, Salisbury and Swindon and also have a telephone support line. Tel: 0808 808 1677
- The Samaritans offer a non-judgemental listening line: Tel: 116 123
Please help us be there for older people in need
By donating today, you could help us answer more calls to our advice line, provide volunteer support for older people struggling to manage on their own and provide regular friendship calls to people who are desperately lonely.