Pictured from left:  Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Labour/Co-operative Party), Janet Capon (supported by the scheme) and Jason Connon from Zurich Private Clients in the House of Lords

Jason Connon, National Development Manager, Zurich Private Clients is proud to be a Call in Time volunteer, the telephone befriending programme run by Age UK in partnership with ZCT*.  Jason has been calling his telephone friend Dylys since February 2014 but recently received a call of a different kind - an invition from Age UK to speak at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ageing and Older People at the House of Lords on the topic of loneliness and about what the Call in Time service means to them. 

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Ageing and Older People is a group of MPs and Peers who meet around eight times a year to talk about current policy and parliamentary issues affecting ageing and older people - this meeting was specifically about loneliness

A true friendship ...

“I was delighted to be asked to represent the Zurich Community Trust and Age UK," says Jason. " I've participated in Call in Time for nearly 18 months and it was a great opportunity to share my personal positive experiences, and how it supports Zurich Community Trust and Age UK in combatting loneliness and isolation.  My telephone friend Dylys and I have grown to become friends. The calls are no longer just supporting a charity. We have a real friendship and talk about anything and everything. I value the call as I can tell and feel that she appreciates someone taking the time to take an interest in her and her life.” 
Dylys says:  “Jason treats me as a person not as an old woman. It’s a friendship that goes both ways, he doesn’t just talk about himself, he asks after me and he makes a point of taking an interest in what I’m doing. He was concerned when I was ill, he’s really good and really kind. My children have busy lives, so don’t have time for a chat, my friendship with Jason is something that is very important to me.”

A total of 90 Zurich volunteers from across the UK currently support the Call in Time programme by making a weekly 20 minute phone call and the programme has now been rolled out to 19 other companies.   The Call in Time programme is currently supporting 692 older people in the UK.   

If you would like to know more about the programme, please get in touch with jane.boulton@zct.org.uk.  Thank you!

About Call in Time

Age UK is the largest UK charity supporting older people and is dedicated to improving later life for everyone.  The charity has been a key partner of Zurich Community Trust since 2005 through their Social Transformation work.  As part of this partnership, the Trust funded the pilot of a Call in Time,  a telephone befriending service which provides timely support for older people who are lonely or isolated, by matching employee volunteers with an older phone friend.