It doesn’t have to be lonely this Christmas – you can get support from a telephone befriender

Published Thursday 17 December 2020 at 9:13

Support is available for anyone who is struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness during the festive season and beyond.

Telephone befrienders, part of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Lancashire Volunteer Partnership team, have been keeping people’s spirits bright since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are currently 52 Telephone Befriending volunteers made up of people from all age groups and from all different backgrounds, just waiting to make calls to anyone who needs some extra support and a listening ear this Christmas.

The volunteers make weekly phone calls to anyone who feels they’d benefit from this type of support – and some lovely friendships have been made as a result.

Volunteer Ahmed Hassan, 45, has been making regular phone calls to 49 year old Ken Pudsey after the two were put in touch by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Lancashire Volunteer Partnership team. They have now been talking for over a year.

Ahmed said:

It began with regular calls to keep someone company. Before we knew it, we were real friends.

Ken is a great guy, I really enjoy chatting with him and we have some brilliant conversations.

Ken said:

I didn’t realise how isolated I felt until I got to speak to someone!

It’s so nice to have somebody call you that is concerned about you.

Ahmed has really helped me. Since I began talking to him I feel a lot better, like a weight has been lifted. He’s a really good lad – always a breath of fresh air.

We are good friends now!

Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Adult Services & Prevention at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said:

The support that the Telephone Befrienders give is more vital than ever for those that are feeling isolated during the festive season.

As the weather gets colder, and many are still unable to connect with their usual support networks, this kind of support is essential.

Since March, the Telephone Befrienders have been supporting people throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Thank you to everyone who has come forward willing to give up your time to help others – you have truly helped make a huge difference to the lives of people in Blackburn with Darwen.

If you know someone who is feeling lonely or isolated, get in touch with Lancashire Volunteer Partnership – you can do this via email or through the referral form:

For more information about Lancashire Volunteer Partnership, visit

The BwD Help Hub is still operating and can arrange all kinds of support to help people manage at home – from collecting shopping and prescriptions, to offering debt and finance advice.

Get in touch with the Help Hub at or call 01254 588111.

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