Silver Talk

Did you know?
In the UK social isolation and loneliness affects approximately a third of our elderly population. It matters to natter.

What is Silver Talk?

Silver Talk is our free telephone befriending service for customers over 60 across Northumberland and County Durham. It was set up to prevent people feeling lonely or isolated.
The service involves our friendly, fully trained volunteers contacting our customers for an up to 30 minute chat at the same time each week.

Silver Talk is ideal for those who:

  • are over 60
  • feel isolated
  • are able to communicate over the phone
  • have little social contact through the week

What’s great about Silver Talk?

  • Free weekly calls from a volunteer for up to 30 minutes
  • Make new friends
  • Someone to talk to if you feel lonely

How does Silver Talk work?

1. You sign up and register your interest
2. We ask you some questions (or the person you’re referring)
3. We match you with a volunteer
4. We then give you a call to begin the process

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen if I request the service?

It’s a quick and easy process to get signed up with Silver Talk, all we ask is that new service users complete an introductory application forms. One of our service managers will be in touch to complete the form over the phone. It will ask for a few details about health and hobbies and interests, so that we can match volunteers and users appropriately.

We will also ask for an emergency contact number, in case we are unable to get in touch with you and there is cause for concern.
All that we ask from users is that they let us know if they’re unavailable at their designated time that week, and that they are respectful to our volunteers.

You will then be matched with one of our trained volunteers, who will phone you on a weekly basis, at a set time that is convenient to you, for a social chat which can last up to 30 minutes.


Will it always last 30 minutes and what will we talk about?

It is completely up to the service user what is talked about on each call, and it can last the whole 30 minutes or last just five minutes, but what we can guarantee is that our Silver Talk volunteers will provide users with both friendship and lots of information about services and activities that could benefit them.

I know someone who would benefit from this, what do I do?

You can contact us and we’ll get someone to give you a call about the person you would like to receive the service.

New users often join Silver Talk after being referred by someone from within Karbon, such as a housing officer or a scheme manager.

Once referred, the service user will be contacted by a Silver Talk project co-ordinator who will chat about the service and how it may benefit them. They will not be pressured in to joining the service, it is their decision entirely.

Volunteering with Silver Talk

We know that time is precious but if you have a few spare hours each week and enjoy listening, chatting and getting to know people, then we might have the perfect opportunity for you.

Volunteering for Silver Talk is incredibly rewarding, and as a phone call from one of our volunteers could be the only conversation that service user has with anyone that week, you will be making a world of difference to that person’s wellbeing.

Why volunteer with Silver Talk?

  • Help prevent loneliness and isolation amongst people over 60
  • Increase your confidence and learn a new skill
  • Have fun and feel fulfilled
  • Positively impact someone’s life by simply chatting and listening
  • We only ask that you commit a few hours a week
  • Full training provided by the team at Karbon Homes

Volunteers take their calls from either our Greengates office in Stanley or at our Tanners Burn House office in Hexham. If you’re based in either of these areas we would love to have you on board as part of the team.

We also want to make sure, that you, the people that enable this valuable service to run, are involved in every aspect of its running. We welcome your feedback and ideas for making the service better, and will support you to make sure you are always able to provide the best quality service.

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