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Firms encouraged to use corporate socialresponsibility to help ‘Hello Southampton’

SOUTHAMPTON companies keen to reignite their corporate social responsibility programmes this autumn are being encouraged to consider working with one of the city’s charities dedicated to eradicating isolation and loneliness.

Communicare needs more volunteers for its ‘Hello Southampton’ telephone service, run with Social Care in Action (SCiA) and Southampton University, offering regular scheduled phone calls to the isolated or vulnerable.

The charity’s Manager, Annie Clewlow says: “Our Hello Southampton service provides telephone support for vulnerable members of the community, for instance people living alone who would benefit from a regular check-in, can opt for a daily, or less frequent, phone call to see that all is well. The idea is to try to step in at a stage when there are minor difficulties, which, if left to progress, could become a major crisis.

“Now we are asking businesses to offer their teams to volunteer for Hello Southampton in the winter months and beyond through their corporate volunteering programmes. A few hours of strategic volunteering like this can create more impact than days of activity and can be very rewarding for those who volunteer too.

“We know many businesses still have teams working from home and are dealing with issues related to their wellbeing and potential isolation, so being involved with making calls for us could help them too.

“Our new service is particularly important in the coming winter months when inclement weather and continued worries about Covid will prevent people from socialising as normal and this can have an impact on their physical health and mental wellbeing.”

Volunteers are needed to support people who are lonely and isolated through mobility difficulties, learning or physical disabilities, mental health issues or negative social circumstances.

Volunteer Linda Sharman, who worked in medical administration until recently, explains: “Although I didn’t do this through my place of work, it could work perfectly if it were on offer. Having a one-hour slot where I check in with the folk who need this support is easy to fit into a schedule and a lovely way to get involved with helping out in the local community.”

Communicare’s new Hello Southampton telephone support service offers regular scheduled phone calls up to five times a week, Monday-Friday.

Calls are made on weekday mornings, so volunteers need to be available to sign up to a regular one-to-two-hour slot and need to have a computer or tablet with Wi-Fi access and their own phone.

To find out more about Communicare’s Hello Southampton service, please visit https://communicareinsouthampton.org.uk/aboutus/.

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