What are Local Telephone Groups?

Telephone Groups are free telephone-based social groups for anyone over the age of 65. The weekly group calls help older people to build local connections with their peers, forging new friendships and tackling feelings of isolation and loneliness. They are especially good for older people who are without the internet, housebound or unable to engage in face-to-face activities.

The groups are made up of 5–7 participants who live in the same local community. The weekly group calls run for up to six months, and participants can enjoy friendly conversation and share experiences. The aim is that, within those six months, the participants will feel they have increased social connections and confidence – and we will provide tools and support for the group to maintain their friendships independently of Independent Age, either over the phone or in person.

What happens during a Telephone Group?

Groups are led by one of our trained volunteers, who is equipped with good listening and communication skills. They will help to steer the conversation, help the group to enjoy each other’s company and make friends. The volunteer will make sure the group is a welcoming place for everyone. 

If you’re interested in applying for this volunteering role, you can read more about it on our web page Telephone Groups Facilitator.

How long do groups last?

Groups will run for up to six months and there is no cost to the participant or volunteer. Groups run at the same time each week and last for one hour. The aim is that, after six months, people will feel connected with their community, forge new friendships, feel more confident about their social life, and feel less lonely and isolated.

What do I need to join?

You only need a phone – mobile or landline – to take part. Participants will be able to join their group from home. All they need to do is answer their phone when we dial them in at the set time each week.