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App helps to fight loneliness in Lambeth

A charity has collaborated with a new app to fill the gap in demand for volunteers in the course of the Covid-19 crisis.

Age UK Lambeth has partnered with Volunteero piloting local telephone befriending services to assist in the charity’s fight against loneliness among the older generation of Lambeth.

Volunteero will relieve the charity’s staff from repetitive tasks and ease workload, permitting Age UK Lambeth to prioritise higher-risk areas.

All calls are made within the app in an effort to not expose the phone numbers of vulnerable callers.

Volunteers can view a short bio about the caller to find common interests and improve the quality of the befriending relationship.

Registered volunteers also complete a mandatory report post-call to track the wellness of clients and flag anything critical.

Ashley Staines, co-founder of Volunteero, said: “Only 15 per cent of people between the age of 25 and 34 volunteer at least once per month.

“This statistic really saddens us and is why at Volunteero we’ve set out to change this tragic truth.

Graham Gardiner

“It’s such a fantastic opportunity to be working with Age UK as we look to help them combat loneliness.

“In the current environment with social distancing measures still being enforced, the problem of loneliness has worsened dramatically.

“The impact of this further deteriorates the health condition of an already vulnerable generation.

“It is, therefore, crucial to look after older members of society and do everything to help them through this difficult time.”

Age UK Lambeth chief executive Graham Gardiner said: “We’re very excited about the opportunity to work with Volunteero and the benefits we’re expecting to see.

“Operational efficiency and the safeguarding of our vulnerable clients are top priorities for us. Volunteero should really help us progress in both areas.

“The current crisis has put a strain on all front line services, and at Age UK Lambeth we have worked hard to ensure we have responded quickly to the needs presented to us.

“Using Volunteero will help us increase our reach, make it easier for our volunteers to offer help, and reassure my team that we are protecting the people we serve.”

Volunteero has secured funding from innovation agency Innovate UK, and is due to launch next month.

To volunteer, go to https://volunteero.org/

 

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