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Community / New telephone befriending service will support those feeling isolated during lockdown

A NEW telephone service has been set up by the Shetland Befriending Scheme to support people who are feeling especially lonely and socially isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The service would see befrienders hold regular phone chats with people to provide some vital human interaction during the lockdown period.

Lynn Tulloch. Photo: Shetland Befriending Scheme

It is also designed for people who have very limited or no support around them.

People can refer themselves to the scheme, or an agency, family member, friend or friend supporting the individual can refer to their behalf if they have consent.

Voluntary Action Shetland’s befriending project co-ordinator Lynn Tulloch said it was a natural progression of the scheme, which – pre-Covid 19 – generally sees volunteers accompany people on activities.

“We have developed the telephone befriending service out of a need that was becoming increasing apparent in the community since the lockdown started,” she said.

“Individuals were contacting us and asking if we were able to provide some telephone support to individuals they were concerned about.

“We feel it’s important to continue to provide support to those who are feeling increasingly lonely and socially isolate due to the coronavirus and felt this was a very natural development for our service.”

To find out more, contact Lynn Tulloch on 01595 743907 during office hours or email lynn.tulloch@shetland.org.

Information can also be found on Shetland Befriending Scheme’s website and Facebook page also offers information.