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Your Champions 2011: Age Concern North East Wales telephone befrienders nominated for team award

A TEAM of volunteers who keep in touch with elderly residents in need of a chat have been nominated for a Trinity Mirror/ScottishPower Your Champions award.

The Age Concern North East Wales telephone befrienders scheme was set up two and a half years ago to offer weekly contact for older people living in isolated areas.

Now there is a team of about eight volunteers who each spend four to five hours a week working from the Mold or Wrexham offices.

Age Concern North East Wales chief officer Margaret Hanson nominated the group for the Team of the Year award.

She said: “They have a list of people to ring and the speak to them every week to check they’re OK and have a chat about what’s going on, what they’ve seen on telly or what’s going on in the news.

“They have a good laugh with them.

“Most of the people who receive calls are in their late 80s or 90s, are often quite socially isolated, living in rural areas, and a lot of them don’t have any significant others living nearby.

“Having regular contact with them is very, very important.”

Many of the volunteers have been in similar situations to the people they are calling.

“Our oldest volunteer is 91,” added Mrs Hanson.

“A lot of the volunteers have come to us for support in the past and now they’ve sorted their problems out they want to give something back and help other people.

“They are all very committed and always turn up, come rain or shine.

“They do a brilliant job.”

To nominate, fill in the form in the paper or visit www.flintshirechronicle.co.uk/yourchampions2011.