Careline given £4,690 Comic Relief grant

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More elderly people are to benefit from the work of a befriending service based in Crich, after organisers were presented with £4,690 by Comic Relief.

For the last two years, Crich Careline has provided a telephone befriending service

to the villages of Holloway, South Wingfield, Whatstandwell, Fritchley and Crich.

Now, volunteers are set to expand their service to the elderly in these rural communities after being presented with a grant by bosses at the popular celebrity-backed appeal.

The scheme was originally launched with the support of the churches in Crich and local volunteers, with the aim of combating the social isolation and loneliness that can affect older people living on their own.

Dawn Shortland, the co-ordinator of Careline, said that their members really look forward to their regular chat on the phone.

“For some, it’s the only person they speak to during the whole day, so they have plenty to talk about,” she said.

“At the moment the service operates Monday to Friday but the ultimate aim is to function 365 days a year.

“The reason the scheme has been so successful is thanks to the support and goodwill of our wonderful volunteers.

“What they give to these old folk is immeasurable and the more volunteers we have, the more we can expand the service.”

The Careline went live at the end of 2011 following a £1,000 grant from Derbyshire County Council.

Careline volunteers phone users on a regular basis, giving people the option to tell them if they are worried about something, or simply to havehave a chat.

You can just talk for a couple of minutes or have a longer conversation and the service is offered free of charge.

Comic Relief has funded more than 90 projects in the East Midlands over the years and aims to award grants to a wide range of charities delivering long-term change.