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October 12, 2021

RU OK? …now

Here we are in year seven of Time to Shine – not something I ever expected to say! As Learning Facilitator I should have written some reports, plonked them onto our website, tidied my desk and gone, by April 2021. But fate intervened and at the point last year when I should have been writing those final reports I was in fact gearing up, with colleagues, to train volunteers to help out with Leeds’s RUOK? Telephone befriending project.

The result, another report to shower you with, and a story of people feeling isolated and lonely those volunteers were able to help.

“I feel that these calls have been very good and important to me, even short calls as it has given me someone to talk to – I felt supported as I cannot get out and it gave me something to look forward to as I live alone and felt isolated and alone. I really appreciate the time of the volunteers”.

I think those of us who work for charities were not surprised that so many people stepped up to help, we know people are full of kind and generous impulses. This report is full of learning about how to pull those offers together and the great teamwork between different organisations: Voluntary Action Leeds – which led the volunteer recruitment; Leeds City Council, which saw a need for help and trusted volunteers to offer it, and Leeds Older People’s Forum, which was able to pull together enough help from across the sector to train the volunteers.

Read our resources:

Leeds was by no means the only place to organise those many volunteers who stepped up in the early days of the pandemic. We were able to learn from other Ageing Better areas across the UK. Find out more here – Telephone befriending – learning from Ageing Better

Jessica Duffy
Learning Facilitator, Time to Shine