Red Cross expands phone calling to people who live alone

Red Cross is calling on locals to sign on to two highly valued volunteer programs which bring peace of mind to hundreds of vulnerable, isolated people.


Red Cross Social Support Service Manager Rhee Duthie said the expansion means both more clients and volunteers are needed at a number of locations for its Telecross and TeleCHAT services - connecting people who live alone with a regular friendly voice at the end of the phone.


“Telecross has been running for 40 years in Australia, providing a free daily telephone call to people who live alone or who are at risk of having an accident or illness that may otherwise go unnoticed,” she said.


Ms Duthie said, “Just knowing that help is never far away makes all the difference to those we call, and their loved ones.


“Through volunteering for the Telecross service, people provide reassurance, which helps older people maintain independence and allows them to continue to live with confidence in their own homes.”


Telecross clients are called at an agreed time, 365 days a year. In the event of three calls going unanswered in one day, Red Cross begins an escalation procedure to make sure the client is okay. The details of the activation are prearranged with each Telecross client.


Meanwhile the TeleCHAT service is also expanding.


In this program, friendly trained volunteers call people who live alone and would benefit from a social chat, at an agreed time generally once a week for an open-ended conversation. People are matched with volunteers based on their interests, hobbies and availability.


TeleCHAT is a free service offering people living independently a sense of connection and companionship via regular phone contact with the same volunteer.


Both Telecross and TeleCHAT are available to older people across Queensland and Australia. They can access the service by being referred or through calling 1300 885 698 from all states.


Red Cross Social Support Manager Rhee Duthie said Red Cross is always looking for caring volunteers to make these calls from call bases in Southport, Nambour, Brisbane, Ipswich, Cairns and Townsville.


“A small amount of time making a phone call can make such a difference to someone who is home alone,” she said.


“Our connections with other people matter. Feeling connected enhances our sense of wellbeing and quality of life, supports good mental health and promotes healthy ageing.”


Red Cross works to ensure everyone living in Australia is included in society, participating in the communities they are a part of and experiencing a range of meaningful relationships with other people.


For more information about receiving the Telecross or Telechat service or about becoming a Red Cross volunteer contact Miryam Caldarone on 1300 885 698.


See for more information.


6 January 2015.