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Social landlord wants to know if you have time to talk

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Social landlord wants to know if you have time to talk

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

Social landlord wants to know if you have time to talk Social landlord wants to know if you have time to talk

A social landlord is appealing for people willing to offer friendship and support as part of a pioneering service for older people in Cheshire. 

The Regenda Group is trialling the new project in Macclesfield where it is now recruiting volunteers to help people aged 55 and over who feel lonely and isolated. 

The befriending service,'Time2Chat', differs from similar schemes because volunteers will spend much longer with older people – at least an hour every week.   

If successful, Regenda plans to extend the free and confidential service across the North West.

Coordinator Helen Marks, Regenda's neighbourhood officer, decided to launch Time2Chat after receiving a telephone call from an elderly tenant.

“What started off as a routine phone call turned into a 20 minute conversation about all sorts of things including baking and 'The Great British Bake Off' on television! When I eventually put the phone down, I said to myself ‘bless her, she just wanted a friend to talk to.’ That one phone really call made me think more needs to be done to help older people who feel lonely,” said Helen.

As part of Time2Chat, volunteers of all ages will be required to provide references and pass background checks. They will be given full training before they start making visits and also receive on-going support and monitoring.                           

Helen added: “You don’t need to live in a remote, rural location to feel isolated, even people living on a housing estate can often feel lonely and cut off. Ideally we would like to match older people with volunteers who have similar interests, visiting them in the comfort and safety of their own house. Eventually they might visit lunch clubs or attend local events together. Volunteers will be expected to spend at least an hour a week with older residents, more if they can spare the time.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact 01204 814567 or email Time2Chat@regenda.org.uk     

Pictured: Helen Marks offers company and friendship   

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