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‘People find themselves alone’: Calls to Seniors nearing launch

A Yellowknife-based organization is in the recruitment phase of a program that will match volunteers with seniors in an effort to provide support and social contact to the territory’s elderly population.

The Status of Women Council of the NWT hopes to launch its Friendly Calls to Seniors program sometime this fall.

The idea is to connect a senior with a volunteer who will phone them regularly so that they know someone is looking out for them.

The program is being funded through Service Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors fund, which will provide $25,000.

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Throughout August, the Status of Women Council of the NWT will be actively recruiting volunteers for the program as well as seniors who want to benefit from it.

Lorraine Phaneuf is executive director of the Yellowknife-based organization. She says the Friendly Calls to Seniors program was inspired by the territory’s elderly population.

“It had come up that it would be a good idea to do a friendly phone call,” she said. “Sometimes people find themselves alone and that might be something they’d appreciate getting.

“It serves as a way of volunteering but also as a way of being a recipient of a volunteer action.”

Phaneuf hopes to roll out the program in late September or early October once volunteer training is complete. Seniors will be able to join the program at no cost.

To learn more about enrolling as a volunteer or as someone who wants to receive calls, click here (pdf).

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