Below are some comments from some of the older people who took part in our fit as a fiddle project, thanks to a partnership between Community Network and Arthritis Care.
"I was really anxious on my first call. We were all strangers, but at the end of the sessions we made really good friends, who have been a support system to me. That's what the telephone friendship groups do. The group has helped my health and communications skills, and helped me make new friends who have had a positive impact in my life."
"Being part of the friendship groups has helped me to overcome my fears and know that I can beat arthritis. I have had an amazing time with the group, which has enlightened me to have a broader outlook on life. I was recently diagnosed with arthritis on my knees, which has led to many changes in my life and way of living.
"I have been living alone for the last 13 years and feel very lonely - which is not a good feeling. The groups have been fantastic and talking about my condition with others in similar situations helps me to overcome certain things. I know that am not the only one living with the condition, which makes me feel less isolated.
"The group discussions on general health awareness, healthy eating and life, and how essential groups are, have been so useful."
"My curiosity to learn about the telephone friendships has made positive changes to my life -especially my attitude towards things. Who would have known that talking to people you don't know could make a difference to your life? It all seemed very interesting, but I couldn't understand how it would work or how talking to strangers over the phone could improve my health and wellbeing.
"I have been living alone for the last six years since the death of my husband and it's been a very lonely feeling. I try to go out and make the effort to meet different people, but it can be difficult. My health is reasonably fine and I try my best to keep on top of it, making sure it doesn't get me down.
"The group has helped me so much through talking to people in a similar situation. It makes you feel you are not alone. I have learnt some useful tips about healthy eating, well being and places to go and meet new people."
For more comments and to learn of ways to get involved with telephone groups, go to the Get Involved section of this website.