The Buddy Club

The Buddy Club provides a regular friendly voice and access to support during the coronavirus outbreak

To combat isolation and loneliness during this time, we’ve launched the Buddy Club which has been set up to provide regular companionship and emotional support through daily phone calls. Social isolation is difficult for everyone but it’s even harder for those who have no support network during this time. The customers we are calling are isolated and receiving little or no support from family or friends, therefore leading to serious wellbeing issues. We will eventually roll this out to all of our customers.

Social isolation and distancing is particularly difficult for the elderly and vulnerable, as well as those with few family or those whose family are quarantined themselves. Getting food and supplies can be difficult, and it’s not always easy for some people to find out what support is available to them in their area.

Our Buddy Club helps to keep people engaged. Having someone to listen and regularly talk to can and will make a huge difference to a vulnerable person’s life and will give them back hope when they need it the most.

We have five buddy teams set up to reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. The Buddy Club provides customers with a friendly voice and access to support during regular phone calls. The calls are a chance to share your issues, access any help you need (whether it’s about your finances or being able to get supplies) and to talk about your day.

Each colleague has been specifically trained on topics such as safeguarding, challenging conversations, self-care and resilience, support mechanisms and IT. Each call is completely confidential and if you are unsure of the caller, get in touch with our Customer Experience team using live chat, message us or call 01935 404500 where we will be able to verify who the caller is.

We know that isolation will have an impact on people, particularly the elderly, in terms of mental health and increased loneliness and the club has been set up to try and combat these issues. We are already seeing positive results.

We don’t want these calls to be a one off as we know your needs may change, you could have different questions and just need someone to be there. So, during your first phone call we will ask if you want to sign up to the Buddy Club. We will then agree with you the best time to call and how often you would like to receive a call.