If this year has taught us one thing, it’s the importance of looking out for one another and supporting those who need it most in our communities.
Over the past 12 month’s demand for Karbon Homes’ Silver Talk service has rocketed and the team is now providing a friendly voice and a listening ear to over 300 users each week.
To keep up with demand, Silver Talk has launched a recruitment drive for volunteers to join the friends on the phone service, to help ensure no older people are left feeling isolated or lonely.
The team is holding a virtual open day on Monday 7th June for those exploring the possibility of volunteering, to find out more about the service and what’s involved.
Paul Moralee, Community Investment Manager for Karbon Homes, who manages the service, said: “It’s been quite the year for the service and we’re humbled by the support we have received from our community volunteers who have ensured hundreds of older people across the region have had a friend over the phone through what has been a difficult year.
“However, as restrictions have started to ease we have seen our volunteer commitments start to drop, due to many of them either returning to work or previous commitments they had before the pandemic.
"This means our service user waiting list is starting to grow so we’re looking for new volunteers to come forward and provide companionship to those who need it.”
New volunteers will be matched with a service user for an up to 30-minute social telephone chat each week. The calls can be made from the comfort of home with a mobile phone provided by Karbon, at a time that works for them.
Anne Adams started volunteering with Silver Talk during the pandemic and has never looked back. “Silver Talk is absolutely brilliant, I love it! They’ve become my friends over the phone and it’s like I’ve know them for years. It’s surprising how much we talk about in just 30 minutes and 9 times out of 10 we just laugh and laugh.
“You’ve got to have a happy outlook on things and it helps if you’ve got the gift of the jab, which I have. But you’ve also got to be able to listen, some I can hardly get a word in but I just sit and listen and let them talk about what they want to talk about.
“I often get told ‘eee I really looking forward to you ringing up and I wish we could talk some more’. It gives you a bit of a boost and I’m pleased I can bring some joy in to their life for half an hour. They’ve got nobody and nobody to talk to and if I can put a smile on their face then I’m happy.”
The open day is happening between 12-2pm on Monday 7th June and taking place over Zoom. To express interest in coming along, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send a joining link. Alternatively give the team a call on 0191 223 8662.
There’s more information about volunteering with Silver Talk on our website.