Premier Lifeline: the National Christian Helpline has launched a new resource aimed at helping to tackle isolation after receiving funding from the UK Government Coronavirus Emergency Fund. Call and Care aims to encourage churches, organisations and community groups to reach out and support people in their communities by equipping and training local volunteers to make contact by telephone.
In a recent Savanta ComRes study, commissioned by Premier Lifeline, 26% of UK adults said they could not remember the last time someone, other than family, called them to ask how they were. The poll, which surveyed over 2,000 respondents, found that those aged 35-54 were least likely to remember having received such a call with one third (31%) saying they couldn’t recall someone outside their family phoning to enquire as to how they were doing.
The launch of Call and Care is hoped will go some way to resourcing churches to reach those people and connect more with those feeling isolated. As part of the project churches and community groups will be offered free video training consisting of 12 short videos with written transcripts to help prepare the call-makers for their role.
Jonathan Clark, Director of Premier Lifeline, says
“The last year has been difficult for many with considerable isolation and loneliness experienced across the country, as well as a significant rise in individuals experiencing mental health issues. We want to encourage everyone to consider who would welcome a telephone call from their family and friendship groups. Just that sense of company is so important to someone who is feeling isolation, it helps us feel noticed and valued.”
The 12 free videos provided by Call and Care consider issues such as: the need for someone to talk to; confidentiality and safeguarding; selecting the right team members, how to be a good listener, mental health issues; well-being tips; and support for caller-makers. Also two modules specifically giving a Christian context, covering prayer and issues of faith.
“The Church and local community organisations can be part of the answer and show the love of Jesus by reaching out to those in need of a listening ear and someone to talk to bringing encouragement, hope and a sense of belonging. We want to resource them to do just that.”
For information, to view the free videos and to sign-up please go to www.callandcare.org.uk.