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HomeNewsMeet Robin, One of our Team of Ex-Forces Telephone Befrienders

Meet Robin, One of our Team of Ex-Forces Telephone Befrienders

Posted on Wednesday, 27 February 2019 8:11 am | Category: General News A former civil servant and tea manufacturer has found a new calling reaching out to lonely and isolated older veterans.

Robin spent his working career working in for a tea manufacturer and then latterly as a civil servant. Upon his retirement at the age of 74 after a long and fulfilling career, Robin took a “gap year”, travelling the world. After his year out, Robin joined Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington’s Ex Forces Support Project as a Forces Friend Telephone Befriender.

Every week Robin phones people who are feeling isolated or lonely or just in need of a friendly voice at the end of the telephone. The conversations can be about a wide range of subjects and Robin enjoys sharing stories and interests from his wide range of experience gained over the years.

The beneficiaries especially enjoy conversations about current life issues, the weather, Robin’s travels and experiences, baking and the latest cricket scores.

Many of the people that Robin befriends have served in the military and while it does occasionally come up in conversation, most of the conversations are about the present. One gentleman spent three and a half years in the RAF but had had a long and happy career afterwards. He had been suffering from stomach pains for quite a few months at night that was preventing him from sleeping, Robin encouraged him to go and consult his GP. The GP tried a few medications and eventually found one that stopped the pain and he now is able to sleep well at night. Robin has been able to support the gentleman to deal with a number of issues that he was struggling to deal with.

Another gentleman that Robin supports had served completed his national service in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He now lives in sheltered accommodation and most of his fellow residents are female. He signed up to the service as he felt that he needed some male company.

An avid cricket fan, he and Robin spend most of their time discussing the latest test scores and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Durham and Yorkshire teams. He finds that since starting to receive calls from Robin, his mood has improved and he “feels buoyant after the calls” and looks forward to their weekly chats.

It’s not just the people that Robin is calling that get a lot out of the telephone befriending, Robin also benefits from the befriending service. He comes into his local Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington office to make the calls as he enjoys the atmosphere and company he finds at the centre and talking to others.

If you would like to know more about how you can help with Ex-Forces Support you can find more informationon our volunteering page.

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Age UK Darlington is a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1128377) registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company no. 6817492). Registered address: Bradbury House, Beaumont Street West, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 5SX.

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