Friendly Call Cork
We are a volunteer driven project. Friendly Call Cork is a free service providing a phone call 5 days a week which is available to older people or individuals who may feel lonely, isolated and vulnerable in the cork City and surrounding areas; the service specifically targets people with chronic illness or anyone who cannot engage in an active way in the community. Without doubt, Friendly Call Cork provides friendship and security helping clients feel safer at home. If a client does not answer, the Friendly Caller will phone a member of their family, a neighbour or a friend. Currently, we ring 170 clients per day, Mon –Fri.
As well as giving a daily phone call to Friendly Call Clients, we also host social events for clients every two months – our Friendly Call Afternoon Tea. Socialization for the elderly and isolated is vital; it helps keep minds sharp and provides a defence against loneliness and isolation.
Friendly Call benefits both clients and volunteers and is working to get the people of local communities to get more involved in helping and keeping safe those who are lonely and isolated. The service would not be in operation if we did not have such enthusiastic and empathetic volunteers.
During the last year, with funding from the Lord Mayor’s Charities, we have piloted another service in addition to the friendly calls. We introduced a Visiting Service for clients from newly recruited volunteers. As of 7th February 2018, we are now providing 18 home visits a week. This number is increasing every week and we train in new volunteers.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance what we do. We have a wonderful team of 28 volunteer Friendly Callers giving 4-5 hours per week. We also have a number of volunteers who visit clients in their homes for an hour a week. We are continuing to recruit and train volunteers for our visits service.
Bi-monthly Afternoon Tea Events hosted for Friendly Call Clients and have to date been held in a variety of city locations including:
- Cork City Council Chambers
- University College Cork
- The Commons Inn, Blackpool
- Lord Mayor’s Community & Voluntary Awards Cork City Council
- 2015 Winner Age Friendly Award
- National Pride of Place Awards
- 2015 National Runner-Up Age Friendly Category
Our Lead Funders
- Cork City Council
- Cork ETB
Our Steering Group is made up of representatives from
- Cork City Partnership
- Cork City Council
- HSE South
- An Garda Siochana Community Policing
- Local Community Representatives
- ALONE Befriending Network Ireland Membership including training & volunteer management. We are also part of a free software pilot using ALONE Salesforce software to manage our client & volunteer databases.
- UCC CARL – Research Completed “Friendly Call Cork – An Exploration of Befriending Services in Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation Amongst Older Adults in Cork.” by Paul Lehane 2017
- UCC RAG Week Charity 2018 – one of the selected charities for Feb 2018
- CIT SBIR to Cork County Council 2017-2018 – won tender with CIT to develop software solutions in reaction to older people with Cork City Council, Phase 1
- Will be submitting joint tender with www.amicitia.org/ for Phase 2
- Seniors Alert Scheme with Cork City Partnership
- Member of Cork City Council Age Friendly City Working Group
- Cork City Older People’s Safety Working Group, new 2018
- Gurranabraher Credit Union who are currently fundraising to purchase a 7-seater people carrier for Friendly Call Cork so that we can extend our services to include getting clients in need to hospital appointments when needed.
- Cork City Partnership Tús Employment Programme – we have access to handymen who complete odd jobs and maintenance for clients in their homes.
We have successfully obtained annual funding from the HSE, Cork City Council and the Cork ETB in 2017 and for 2018. We are still in need of additional funding to allow for a full time development worker to oversee all aspects of our growing service.