Alertacall is delighted to announce that its new charity partner is Silver Stories – which links children and older people in the community through the magic of reading.
Silver Stories was created in 2015 by husband and wife team, David Carney-Haworth OBE and Elisabeth Carney-Haworth OBE, to help address the loneliness that can be felt by older people and often their separation from the younger generation.
The concept is simple in itself: children (known as Silver Readers) telephone an older person (a Silver Listener) and then read a short story or poem to them. The children gain enormously in confidence as readers and can be used by schools as part of a literacy programme. The regular calls also help older people to stay connected to younger members of the community and reduces their chances of feeling isolated.
Alertacall will be working with the charity to promote awareness amongst social housing providers, schools and other organisations to identify listeners and readers to join the project. This work will include helping the charity to develop the necessary software to make the matching process easier and funding a ‘Silver Stories coordinator’ to build and develop community links.
Alertacall has already been working with Oxfordshire based social housing provider, Soha Housing, to help residents enrol on the scheme. So far 100 residents have become Silver Listeners and the feedback has been fantastic.
Jayne Sharp, independent living team manager at Soha said:
“Silver Stories has been such a good news story during these difficult times. Our residents are telling their friends and neighbours and more and more are wanting to take part. The feedback has been so positive and we know that our Silver Listeners feel more connected and useful because of the genuine friendships they develop with their Silver Reader and the wider family. These weekly phone calls have helped to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and the Readers benefit too because they have the opportunity to practice their reading and gain confidence.”
Martin Cutbill, director of Alertacall, commented:
“We are delighted to be working with Silver Stories and helping them to reach out to communities through our social housing network. Alertacall’s services all place an importance on maintaining regular contact with older people, and we are well aware of how phone calls can significantly help to reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. In this way, Silver Stories is a natural partnership for us and a fantastic charity which helps to bridge the gap between the generations but also will inspire young people to read and have the confidence to speak publicly.”
Elisabeth Carney-Haworth OBE added
“This is such a wonderful project and I have been fortunate enough to have many wonderful conversations with Silver Listeners, Silver Readers and their parents. The utter joy that emanates through these chats is overwhelming and long-term friendships have been formed – all because of a simple phone call once a week and the sharing of a story. We are thrilled that Alertacall has chosen Silver Stories as one of their charity partnerships and we look forward to a long and very positive relationship, it really is the perfect pairing.
For more information on Silver Stories you can visit their website www.silverstories.co.uk
If you are a housing provider who would like to know more about how you can get involved with Silver Stories, contact Silver Stories at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form on the Silver Stories website.