Elizabeth was referred to the Wellbeing Collaborative by a Red Cross Support Worker, requesting support to reduce isolation and improve her mood. After an operation in hospital to renew an existing hip replacement, Elizabeth was finding that the operation was having a big impact on her life as she now needed a Zimmer frame or kitchen trolley to walk with. She was also feeling anxious a lot of the time, particularly worrying about being scammed and issues with her neighbours. After Elizabeth had her first call with a Pathway Coordinator, she was referred to the SSEN's Priority Service and the Telephone Preference Service to minimise the risk of scam callers. She was then referred for a Wellbeing Buddy with the Wellbeing Collaborative.  

Wellbeing Buddies are trained volunteers who call people every week for 12 weeks offering a friendly chat and a listening ear. It is the hope that these calls will help in preventing feelings of isolation and loneliness as well as providing people with access to knowledge about organisations in their local community that can help them live well at home.  

Our Wellbeing Buddy Diana 

Elizabeth was matched to Diana, one of our Wellbeing Buddies, and they began their calls in November 2022. Diana told us that she began volunteering after her kids had started to grow up, after feeling that she has been losing her identity a little. Volunteering helped her to get back to seeing people and being around others. She chose to be a Wellbeing Buddy as it meant she could volunteer from home in her own convenient time, alongside work and other volunteering commitments. 

The Wellbeing Buddy Calls 

Diana and Elizabeth got on really well and they "talked about lots of different things, found out about each other's lives, spoke about anything and everything and had a good laugh", but when Elizabeth needed it, they "talked about feelings more deeply too". Throughout the time that they were matched, they always had a laugh and a smile during their calls. Diana told us her ”favourite moment was when Elizabeth told me that she will miss our calls and silly laughs, talking about nothing and everything at the same time! This made me realise how much good this brings to lonely people and how much joy!".  

The impact that having a Wellbeing Buddy can make is huge. Elizabeth said that it "helps to boost you up when you have a phone call because everyone needs company". Having the calls each week helped Elizabeth to take her mind off things, and because she didn't have many people to talk to, it made such a difference having someone call for a chat.  

"Sometimes you need somebody as much as they need you" Diana told us. She went on to explain that "it was a rewarding experience being a Wellbeing Buddy. One day it might be you, me, your mum, dad, grandad. We are all connected, and people need people". One thing that Elizabeth wanted people to know is that "Having someone phone is someone trying to help and care about you, everybody needs somebody to care for them".  

Our Wellbeing Buddy offer has made an incredible difference to people so far. If you would like to get involved being a volunteer or having a Buddy yourself, get in touch with us! 

If you are someone looking to volunteer as a Wellbeing Buddy, visit this page to find out more and apply. 

We can also help you to access the Wellbeing Buddy service. Come along to one of our Information Stations to find out how you could benefit from a Wellbeing Buddy calling each week.