The senior forum meeting took place recently, the full meeting minutes can be download HERE.

Telephone Buddy and Befriending Scheme.

Since the last meeting Suzy Firkin and Mike have has contact with various organisations running similar schemes that lined up with our aims. Most had little or no involvement in Congleton the average being around 12 clients each.

After discussions with them two organisations came out as worth following up in terms of cost and operational capacity.

  • Changing Lives Together – They have a large number of clients and volunteers across Cheshire, but very low numbers in Congleton.
  • AgeUk CE – Smaller numbers in total, really early on the journey with this project started with Covid. They do have everything in place to build on.

Cost were pretty similar ranging from £3500 to £4000 per year.

This included recruitment, training, pr and some staffing costs.

This was based on gaining 15 to 25 new clients plus similar number of volunteer.

After discussion it was felt that we needed more about the organisations, what they could offer and some protection for us around paying out and getting little in return.

It was agreed that we go back to them with specific questions and once we are satisfied with the answers a discission can them be made as to how we progress.

The questions are:-

  1. Would it be possible to establish a Congleton telephone number (redirected to their Main number)
  2. We have a bank of volunteer contacts that we can provide to you – would this help reduce costs?
  3. Are you able to offer any digital support – helping people get online or use an iPad for example?
  4. Are volunteers allowed to offer additional services – f2f meeting, running errands?
  5. Security of project. Can you just confirm the status/duration of your long term funding (Changing Lives)


Once we have this information it will be forwarded to this group and we will look to make a discussion as to where we go. The budget has already been signed off by The Executive it is down to us to make it work for us.

The date of the next meeting tbc.