It’s hard to be isolated at home and not see friends and family in person. Some people are especially vulnerable to loneliness because of their caring situation.
Please, please remember that we are here to help. Our friendly staff are available to talk to you – not only with advice or information, but friendly chat and a listening ear. We are here for you.
Call our Carer Information Centre on 0303 040 1234
Or get in touch with your named Carer Support Advisor if you have one.
Friendship by phone
There are a number of other sources of emotional support if you are feeling lonely, and maybe anxious, and would like someone to chat to by telephone.
The Surrey Community Helpline is to help people with practical things (like shopping) but can also put you touch with a volunteer or organisation to support you emotionally over the phone.
The number is – 0300 200 1008. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, SMS is 07860 053465. There is also a Textphone (via text relay) facility via 18001 0300 200 1008 and a Sign Language Video Relay service.
Surrey charity The Brigitte Trust has over 100 trained and vetted volunteers ready and able to chat. They have expanded their offer to provide support to any adult in Surrey who is lonely, isolated, in low mood, bereaved or caring for someone, who would like to chat.
Their creative volunteers have been doing innovative doing things like: playing bridge, reading the same book, singing, writing poems, sharing stories, writing memoirs, doing crosswords & quizzes together. Plus of course providing an independent listening ear for any worries and fears people may have.
To request help, call Sarah Pattenden on 07469 932192.
Age UK’s Call in Time
For carers over 60, Age UK has a free telephone befriending service called Call in Time where they match you up with a like-minded person to chat to regularly, by phone.
They have had tremendous interest in this service recently so it may take a few weeks before they make contact with you, but they are working hard to process all referrals as fast as possible.
Find out more about the Call in Time service, and make a referral on their website.
Age UK Surrey
And Age UK Surrey have set up a new ‘Check In and Chat’ service throughout the county, where you can be matched with a volunteer who will keep in touch with a phone call.
Crossroads Care Surrey
Crossroads Care Surrey can provide remote companionship by phone. They have support numbers by area which are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Calls left after 5pm will be returned the following day.
Chatting on line
If you’d prefer to talk on-line, there’s lots of options too, from chat rooms and forums to video conference calls and messaging services.
Chatrooms and forums are a great place to get support from people in similar situations to you – and they are particularly helpful right now if you’re feeling isolated. There’s forums just for carers, and most of the main health condition charities have sections on their chatrooms for carers.
Much of this is done via a new digital video system called Zoom. Download the (free) app here: https://zoom.us/download
The Veterans & Families Listening Project Wellbeing Group is meeting online on the second Tuesday each month at 11.15am, using Zoom. Email them for more information.
Surrey Coalition of Disabled People
Surrey Coalition of Disabled People is running a Virtual Café every Monday 11am-12noon for light hearted discussion over a cup of tea and a Daily Walk and Talk having a chat whilst doing gentle exercise at home is every weekday 2.30-3pm.
A Church Near You
Churches across the country are live streaming events such as services, Bible studies and prayer meetings. Join a service or event wherever you are from one of the 16,500 churches.
Not a chat service – but a new way to hear others carers talk about their caring experience is Taking Care. Although it wasn’t developed with the current situation in mind, it was developed for carers to browse while they are unable to get out to talk to others. There’s over 400 short clips, on all sorts of topics from coping with stress to short stories and recipes – full index here.
It was developed by Marie Curie, but is for all carers, not just carers of people with a terminal condition.