A year of helping

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A BEFRIENDING service which reaches out to the elderly and isolated has celebrated its first year.

The Silver Talk project provides regular telephone calls to County Durham people who may otherwise have little contact with the outside world.

Since it was set up, the volunteer-led service has worked with more than 124 older people.

Its offices include a base in Durham, where its 34 trained members make calls throughout the week.

It marked its first birthday with a coffee morning for volunteers, giving them a chance to share their experiences.

Silver Talk was set up by housing association Derwentside Homes with support from Durham County Council, Durham City Homes, Durham Council for Voluntary Service, the Mid Durham Area Action Partnership and NHS County Durham and Darlington and funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Silver Dreams Fund.

Project manager John Atkinson said: “This is a fantastic project to work with.

“The volunteers are amazing and they make a real difference to lives of the older people they chat to every week.”