Social Isolation Responder (phone) service

Social isolation can be a difficult situation for even the most resilient of us
SIRs Poster[2

Information provided by HOPELINKs 

It maybe goes without saying that we have been plunged into a situation we could not have imagined many months ago, even now as we look out from our shelters, we can’t quite take in the steps we are having to take to adjust to a new way of living.  

Then there are those that were already vulnerable within our communities, our neighbour, a friend, someone you pass a friendly greeting to or maybe someone you have never met before. There are many who have been caring for someone for a long time or maybe someone who has only had a brief time with their loved ones before they either recovered or taken from them too soon. 

Our family Carers, are the people we aim to reach out to with a genuine hand of friendship and reassurance, in a non-clinical non-judgmental way to give a listening ear, for as long as is required. 

Simplicity & confidentiality are paramount for each individual making contact with the project. This applies to not only carers who access this valuable service but also those who deliver and coordinate support, both now and in the foreseeable future as we define our new normal.  

We have recently received funding from The Triangle Trust and Harrison Security have sponsored a dedicated freephone number, which has allowed us to deliver the initial pilot project.  

What is our project! 

Whilst the service is being implemented and somewhat driven within the COVID19 context, the intent is for it to be established within the community as a natural progression of human instinct to reach out, engage, connect and support some of the most vulnerable within our society. This may include the family carer or a spouse unsure if their partner is a little forgetful of the beginning of dementia, a young mum who is suddenly alone with a tiny dependent. All do not have enough hours in the day to think straight never mind take a break. These scenarios highlight some of the many people already in a ‘readiness to care’ state within our community but with different needs that can be supported within a caring neighbourhood, if only they had a way in which to connect. SIRs will provide a freephone service giving them access to our volunteers (MATE) within the community.  
SIRs will be manned by a group of volunteers to ‘ASSIST’ in taking calls - with a coordinator managing the initial triage and connecting carers with a volunteer. The purpose of the project is to give carers the opportunity to chat often unburden themselves in a non-clinical and nonjudgemental setting. This service would provide a buffer and obviate the need for more clinical services that are already overstretched.

However, should the triage identify that the individual has clinical or more advanced well- being needs they will be signposted to a relevant organisation. GP’s can also refer into the phone service with confidence that their most vulnerable patients will have a social support network within the community. Other organisations that connect and identify carer needs can also pass on the freephone number with confidence.

Freephone 0800 8832 111 

We have put together some tips and principles as a guide to get started for the volunteering roles, however we will continually update, guide and drive the program & we will ALWAYS be at the end of the phone for ongoing and moral support. We can now start to implement this project and provide this model of support with your help.  
This project is part of our wider Communitree© model that will continue making connections, where local services, social care, 3rd sector organisations and communities are brought together for the common good as a community of action.  

#Caring is Sharing in a Community that Cares!   

Pauline x  Founder Director HOPELINKs Ltd 

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