22 April 2020

A Telephone Befriending service has been launched by the Trust to support service users who might feel isolated during the COVID-19 emergency.

Trained service users, carers and volunteers will offer a friendly voice at the end of the phone to help increase wellbeing and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The service will be tailored for individual preferences.

People will be asked if they are interested, how often they would like to be called, preferred gender of the caller, language and interests to help match them with the best-suited befriender.

The project has been launched by the People Participation team and Marie-Michelle Mousse, ELFT Volunteer Coordinator.

“This is about providing an opportunity for a friendly conversation that can lift the spirits and reduce any sense of isolation,” said Marie-Michelle.

“This isn’t a counselling service, it is a befriending scheme to help provide something we all thrive on – pleasant company and a good chat.”

The befriending service telephones are manned by service users and carers who have been trained and DBS checked.

The service is available from 9am-9pm daily and went live on Monday, 20 April.

Service users who would like to receive Telephone Befriending support can call the service number 07557 172803 or email elft.volunteerenq@nhs.net