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Free Minutes to Help Lonely Older People in Leicester

A leading charity is urging mobile phone owners in Leicester to use their free minutes to help isolated and lonely older people. 

Re-engage has more than 300 over-75s waiting to join its telephone befriending service which is urgently seeking people willing to spend 30 minutes a week or fortnight talking to an older person.

Leicester Time: Free Minutes to Help Lonely Older People in Leicester
Picture: Re-engage

“Many people get free minutes as part of their phone deal and we are appealing to them to be generous and use them for a very good cause,” said Sally Flowers, head of service delivery at the charity. 

“We have hundreds of older people who really just need someone to talk to. Many of them are incredibly lonely and may not see or hear from anyone from week to week. 

“A simple telephone call brings them great comfort and can make a massive difference to their lives. We also know from what our volunteers tell us that they get a huge amount of satisfaction from talking to an older person. We’re not asking them to give up much time and they don’t need any special skills – just to be a good, friendly listener.”

Since Re-engage started its call companion service three years ago around 3000 older people have been paired with a volunteer, with more signing up to the service every day.

Last year Re-engage call companions spent more than 5000 hours- the equivalent of over 200 days – talking to older people in nearly every city and town across the UK. 

Olive, 84, who is waiting for a call companion, said: “My husband died recently and I need someone to talk to. We were married for 64 years so I really do miss him. 

“I’m wheelchair bound and don’t get to see anyone. I’m very much alone. Just talking to someone would at least break up the day.” 

And Iain, 76, who was widowed last year after being married for nearly half a century, said: “I live alone and don’t have any family or friendly neighbours. My wife and I did everything together and now I feel totally isolated. A call companion would be a massive boost.”

To find out more about becoming a call companion, visit: