Telephone support volunteers

Our new peer support service is here to offer you a listening ear, particularly through the challenges of the Covid-19 lockdown and beyond. We may not be able to sit together just now, but it can feel like it.

Our new Peer Support Service is here to support you

Our telephone befrienders are trained volunteers who can give a listening ear by phone for anyone with PF, carers and family members over 18.

Our volunteers listen with empathy and are non-judgemental. They are a mix of people- some of our volunteers have PF, are carers or former carers.  Volunteers will be giving a few hours each week to offer support by phone.

You can refer yourself or we can receive referrals from health professionals and support groups. However, please make sure that you have checked with the person and they have given you permission, if you are making a referral on their behalf. To request a call let us know by emailing or calling us on 01223 785725.

The scheme began in response to the Covid-19 crisis, to support people with pulmonary fibrosis during this challenging time, particularly through the long periods of isolation that can arise when shielding at home.

The volunteers complement the work of our Specialist Nurse Advisor on the support line, who is able to advise on medical matters.

We talked about dogs, the weather, disabled horse riding, Cumbria... just lovely...

Having completed their initial online training, which includes practical aspects of the role, safeguarding and wellbeing, the volunteers will have ongoing peer support, follow-up training and a support supervisor.

The volunteers take part in online training before embarking on their calls

The calls include a check that people are getting the support they need and signposting to other services, including PF support groups and our own support line, to ensure that people have a good network of support.

I know they will make such a huge difference to many people who they may be in contact with.

Nurse consultant, Dr Karen Heslop-Marshall, who helps to run the training, said: ‘I was so impressed to see the enthusiasm of the volunteers. I know they will make such a huge difference to many people who they may be in contact with.’

If you are interested in becoming a telephone befriender we’d love to hear from you too! Email or call us on 01223 785725.