The Christian charity is introducing a phone friendship device for older individuals in self-isolation

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(Photo: Pexels / Matthias Zomer)

A new phone friendship tool has been introduced to help local churches reach out to older people in self-isolation.

Two & # 39; s Company was developed by Linking Lives, a Christian charity that works with churches across the UK to run friendship programs to support isolated older people.

The new tool has been tested in four communities in England, Wales and Scotland. It provides a safe and easy way to connect older people in the church to a member of a local church community by phone.

Linking Lives National Director Jeremy Sharpe said: "When it became clear that Covid-19 would have such a significant impact, we realized that we needed to adjust our core processes and think about how we could serve churches in this challenging time.

"Two & # 39; s Company therefore developed into a way for local churches to use their resources, local knowledge and contacts in a way that demonstrates the love of God in a very practical way for those who were marginalized at the time stood. "

A coordinator and a dedicated telephone line are required for each telephone-friendly service.

Linking Lives UK offers church training on how to run the program and recommends that the church use volunteers who have already been reviewed by the church for past roles.

There is no fee for the training, although the partner churches are encouraged to donate to the costs of developing and operating the ministry.

Given that older people and people with health problems are likely to be affected by distancing measures some time after the blockage is lifted, Linking Lives UK said the friendship program was a "key response" to the crisis and an important role this would help combat isolation during the longer-term transition back to normal.

Rev. Dr. Chris Steed, team principal at a church in Calmore, Southampton, has brought together a pool of volunteers to lead the hotline, which is being promoted in the community and through local schools.

"The ability to take this tailored approach has allowed us to respond quickly and effectively to local volunteers and those who request regular calls," he said.

You can find an introductory package at www.linkinglives.uk or by email (email protected).

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