West Northumberland organisations come together to combat loneliness and isolation

Wednesday, 18th December 2019

Silver Talk coordinator, Andrea Alder, with Emma Nicholson and Lindsay Skelton from Helping Hands

Karbon's telephone befriending service, Silver Talk, has joined forces with Helping Hands Community Care in a bid to reduce social isolation in rural areas of West Northumberland.

Thanks to this partnership, Silver Talk will offer a lifeline to some of the most isolated members of the community living in the rural villages across the area.

Andrea Alder, Silver Talk Coordinator, said: “Unfortunately, this time of year can be really difficult for many people, and feeling lonely and isolated around Christmas time is quite common amongst the older generation living in rural areas of Northumberland.

“Thanks to the support of Helping Hands we’re now able to get the message out about the service to even more older people in some of the most isolated areas of the county, who may benefit a great deal from the companionship the service provides.”

Helping Hands Community Care, a Northumberland-based homecare organisation, provides general and specialist services to allow people who are elderly, disabled or suffering from dementia to continue to live in their own homes.

The partnership has provided Helping Hands home care workers with the resources needed to refer service users into Silver Talk.

Stephen Massey is the Head of Homecare and Compliance for Helping Hands. He said: “The partnership with Silver Talk is key in helping us reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst our service users, and in a rural area like West Northumberland the need for partnerships like this one is high.”

Silver Talk provides over 55s with a 30 minute, social telephone chat with a Silver Talk volunteer each week.

Volunteers are based from either Karbon’s Tanners Burn office in Hexham, or from Towneley Court in Stanley. The service currently offers befriending to over 80 service users across Durham and Northumberland.

For more information about the service www.karbonhomes.co.uk/silvertalk