Call out for phone friends

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VOLUNTEERS are needed to help man the phones for a service which will reach out to older people.

Silver Talk matches helpers with elderly residents in County Durham who may live alone and would like to become more socially active.

Calls provide them with conversation and volunteers can signpost them to other organisations for support.

The service launched in October 2012 with a £99,475 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, and now has more than 40 volunteers supporting about 150 people.

Silver Talk is run by Derwentside Homes and supported by Durham County Council, Durham City Homes, Durham City District Council for Voluntary Service, the Mid Durham Area Action Partnership and NHS County Durham and Darlington.

The next two-hour training programme for volunteers will be on Thursday, July 3.

For more details, call John Atkinson on 01207 235 760 or email