Isolated residents in the East Riding of Yorkshire were able to pick up the phone for support and friendship, thanks to CallER Collective, a service launched by HEY Smile Foundation, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and a collective of local charitable organisations, including Absolutely Cultured.
The service was entirely manned by a home-based army of volunteers who were at the end of the telephone to offer both a friendly ear and advice for those feeling alone and worried during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Absolutely Cultured worked with HEY Smile Foundation to provide local, existing volunteers to support and man the phoneline, combatting social isolation across the East Riding of Yorkshire.
This facility was set up in just ten days thanks to the efforts of local organisations including Humber Teaching NHS Trust and the One Point, a long term Smile supporter. All costs of the service were funded by a generous local donor.
The CallER service was available through a single, local phone number – 01482 215929. Calls into the service were routed out to a pool of registered and trained volunteers and available volunteers answered the phone in their own home.