The charity formerly known as Contact the Elderly relaunched as Reengage.
'As a response to the Covid-19 crisis, we introduced a telephone befriending service, Call Companions,' their Development and Support Officer tells us. 'This is a free service for older people who may be socially isolated and lonely and would enjoy a regular friendly chat over the phone. Call Companions is aimed at people who are 75 and over, though we do assess each individual application on a case-by-case basis.'
Their freephone number is 0800 716 543. Individuals may ring to request befriending, or organisations can refer anyone to call companions (with their permission of course) by registering online.
The charity's website explains how over the last 20 years, the number of people over 75 who live alone has gone up to 2.2m.
'All too often, loneliness is the reality for older people and nearly half of older people say the TV is their main source of company.
'Social isolation and loneliness are more than an emotional experience, they have huge mental and physical health implications. Older people living alone are significantly more likely to experience health problems, visit their GP or attend A&E.
'As the ageing population continues to grow, so does the epidemic of loneliness among older people. We’re the only charity solely committed to tackling this problem by helping older people to re-engage with their communities through regular social contact, giving them a lifeline of friendship and, vitally, something to look forward to.'
Their number again: 0800 716 543. Pass it on!