What do people in Telephone Groups groups talk about?
It is up to the group member what is discussed during a call. Telephone Groups talk about everything and anything. We have groups that chat about what they watch on TV, things they’ve heard about on the news or issues that matter to them. One group discovered that they were all musical and had an impromptu telephone jamming session.
Does it cost anything to take part?
It is free to take part in our Telephone Groups as we have funding to help support their running costs. Members of Telephone Groups are called by a telephone operator and added to their telephone group so no charge is made to their telephone bill.
Who funds your work?
We receive no funding from the government and rely on the income from our teleconferencing service run by The Phone Co-op, grants from trusts and foundations and donations from the general public.
Do I have to join in my group every week?
We encourage people to attend every session but understand that people often need to miss a call sometimes because of medical appointments, being unwell or going on holiday etc. If you are not able to join in let us know so we can let your group know you are ok.
How long does a Telephone Group last for?
We aim to run a service that is there for as long as it is needed. This varies from person to person. Some people take part in a Telephone Group for a few weeks, others for months.
Is it safe?
Keeping our services safe for users is important to Community Network. We do this in a number of ways:
- We keep all phone numbers and email addresses secure. We never give out people’s phone numbers – not even to other group members or volunteers.
- Each group had a volunteer facilitator, who first takes part in training with us. Once our trainers are happy that the volunteer is ready, they are given a group to support. The facilitator of a group makes sure that people stick to the ground rules, everyone gets a chance to take part and the group works well.
- We record some sessions at random, so that we can check everything is as it should be. The group is always told in advance that it is will be recorded.
- If group members do not answer when our operator calls to connect them to a session, we call them again 5 minutes later. If they are still not available we leave a message. If we are concerned – for example, if we think someone may have had a fall – we take further action, such as contacting any agency that referred them to us.
- All Telephone Group members are advised not to share personal information with their group. With long standing groups, where everyone gives written consent and we feel it is safe, contact details can be shared allowing people to communicate outside of their Telephone Group.