A HEALTH and wellbeing organisation has launched a new telephone befriending service to combat loneliness.

Thanks to funding from Great Aycliffe and Middridge Area Action Partnership and County Durham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Pioneering Care Partnership, in Newton Aycliffe, has set up the 'Every Call Counts' service.

'Every Call Counts' befrienders are trained to provide friendly, helpful support.

Carol Gaskarth, PCP’s chief executive said: “What started off as a small project with an emphasis on older people in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge area has developed into a service which can be accessed by adults across County Durham, due to match funding from the CCG.

“Even without a pandemic, during winter months many people feel lonely and the days can be very long. Regular contact with a befriender can provide companionship, a friendly voice, reassurance and a listening ear. For now the support we can offer will be over the phone or through video-calling, but, when circumstances allow, our team of befrienders will be out and about meeting people and connecting them in communities.”

To access the 'Every Call Counts' befriending service or make a referral contact 01325-329934 or email befriending@pcp.uk.net.