Call service pleads for volunteers to help vulnerable users in Cork

The service is completely free and operates five days a week, Monday to Friday, providing friendship and security to those who avail of it
Call service pleads for volunteers to help vulnerable users in Cork

It is a free service provided by Cork City Partnership Clg, and for the past 20 years its volunteers have been giving a daily call to people who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation

Friendly Call Cork is appealing for volunteers to help sustain its call service to older people and to people who may feel lonely, isolated or vulnerable in Cork City.

It is a free service provided by Cork City Partnership Clg, and for the past 20 years its volunteers have been giving a daily call to people who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation.

Among those who benefit from the service are older people, people with additional needs, people suffering from chronic illnesses, and those who may be socially isolated or who may not be able to engage in an active way with the wider community.

The service is completely free and operates five days a week, Monday to Friday, providing friendship and security to those who avail of it.

If a person doesn’t answer their phone, the service will contact a designated person, a family member, a friend, or a neighbour, adding an extra level of contact and security for those availing of the service.

Theresa Stokes, who has been a Friendly caller since the service first began two decades ago, made an appeal for volunteers to help ensure Friendly Call Cork can continue to do its vital work.

“We’re looking for people to help out, and really it doesn’t matter how much time they give, even if it’s only an hour a week, so long as they get involved, all people want is that you make the phone call, and you just listen,” Ms Stokes told The Echo.

“Some people might say ‘I’m fine’, and, ‘I’ll talk to you again later’, and they might leave it at that, but other people might really want to talk and you just listen to them, and if you can help them, you help them,” Ms Stokes said.

She added that the service currently has over 30 volunteers and at present rings over 200 people every day, dealing with people from all walks of life.

“During the pandemic, during lockdown, we had volunteers who were off work or off college, but now they’re gone back to work, they’re gone back to college, so that’s why we’re appealing to people to give us a hand.”

Volunteers receive training, and she urged anyone interested in getting involved to get in touch.

“At the end of the day, it’s about common sense, and keeping that connection with people, it’s about the way you feel, and the way you treat people,” Ms Stokes said.

  • Anyone interested in volunteering for Friendly Call Cork should contact Brenda Barry on 021 4301700 or 087 6366407, or email Brenda.Barry@partnershipcork.ie

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