Hear4You: What you need to know when making a call

There are approximately 7.7 million people who live alone in the UK, and of that number over 4 million are aged 65 and over. Social contact over the next few weeks for many will be maintained via social media, video calls and phone calls. However, many elderly citizens and vulnerable people will be left for days if not weeks without any form of human contact. Hear4You intends to offer a small but hugely significant solution.

For many of us volunteers this will be the first time we have been a part of something like this, so we have put the following FAQs together to help answer questions you have. If you have further queries that you’re not sure about, please get in contact with our Community Team using the information at the bottom of this FAQ document.

What is Hear4You?

The voluntary UK-wide service aims to provide a daily 15-minute conversation via the phone or video link to those who are feeling isolated and lonely following the UK Government’s official stay at home and social distancing policy.

Who will I be speaking to?

This will vary depending on what you have stated in your sign-up form and when you’re available to make a call. You’ll be partnered up with a person who shares similar availability and specified requirements (such as gender) from the information received from the online forms.

Is the service confidential?

Whatever is discussed in the conversation needs to be kept between the two people on the call. To ensure we comply with GDPR regulations and data protection, please never disclose the information of the person you have called or what was discussed. If you make written notes, please destroy them at the end of your call.

To protect the data of both our volunteers and our contacts, data is stored on a password-protected system and cannot be accessed by any third parties. This data will never be used for any purpose other than to connect a volunteer to a person in need of a phone call.

We do ask you call from a withheld number, you can do this by entering 141 before dialling the number.

How quickly will I need to respond?

The Get in Touch form asks if the person wants to be contacted in the morning or afternoon. You will need to contact the person within 48 hours of us receiving the form within the allotted time specified on the form.

What can I speak about?

Feel free to talk about most topics which would form part of a normal conversation with a neighbour or an elderly relative.

Most of us are not trained to provide mental health or physical health advice, so should a topic come up that you’re not equipped to discuss, please put them directly in contact with The Samaritans. Their number is 116 123.

We hope that all calls will be a friendly and pleasant exchange, but should you receive abuse, please say that it is not tolerated and end the call. Please report any incidents via email to our Community Team so we have a record of it. Their email is volunteer@fourfrontgroup.co.uk.

Please never ask for personal details or data from the person you are calling.  

How long do I need to speak to someone for?

To make the call worthwhile we suggest it lasts no shorter than 15 minutes a day. If you’re getting on well and want to extend the call, then that’s up to your discretion.

How do I log that I have spoken to someone?

Please feedback to our Community Team when you have made a call and spoken to someone, so we can keep track. If you called and got no answer, please leave a voicemail and say you’ll try calling later in the day, or the next day if it’s late. Do not give out your phone number for them to call you back.

How often am I expected to make calls?

This depends on the time you have available and what you can commit to. Some people will want regular calls with their volunteer, some may just want a one-off call. Please specify when filling in the form what you’re able to do so you can be linked up to the right person.

Will I be given a phone to use?

You will need to use your own phone or video service to make a call.

Will I be paid?

This is a voluntary service, we therefore cannot reimburse you for the cost of your time or phone cost, we are relying on the goodwill of the British people to help with this service voluntarily.

Does any business make a financial gain from this service?

No. This voluntary initiative has been set up for the sole purpose of helping the community. Everyone taking part is doing it free of charge. Fourfront Group, nor its trading companies, are asking for money. Should people want to donate any money to a worthwhile cause, we suggest either donating to NHS Charities Together or Fourfront Group’s chosen charity, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.

If you require further information, please contact our Community Team.

Email: volunteer@fourfrontgroup.co.uk

Telephone: 01784 274 000

Drop us a message or talk to one of our team

Contact us by entering your details below and we’ll get back to you at a time that suits you.

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