About Careline

The idea for Careline was first discussed early in 1997 by a group of people from Derbyshire Rural Community Council, Age Concern, Ashbourne Volunteer Bureau, Ashbourne Health Centre, Social Services and Community Transport. An article appeared in the ‘Ashbourne Telegraph’ and several volunteers came forward. The service began on 1st September 1997.

Many years later we are still going strong and continue to grow. We now have a team of over 60 volunteers who call our members, daily or as regularly as they wish to be called. Calls take place every day of the year including weekends and holidays.  Careline currently makes around 400 calls a week, which equates to over 19,000 calls a year.

Careline had historically covered the southern Derbyshire Dales, including the towns of Ashbourne,  Wirksworth and around 82 villages in between. However thanks to support from the Big Lottery Fund in 2012, we were able to expand our area of coverage to  Uttoxeter and the surrounding villages. Now in our 21st year, we are working on exciting plans to further extend our service into Burton-upon-Trent and East Staffordshire.

Our members can be an individual or couple who experience difficulty going out without help, feel lonely or isolated. Calls are also made to the recently bereaved or recently discharged from hospital or to a carer who needs someone else to talk to. Our calls offer them friendship and greater social interaction.

The calls also have another important role, in that they act as a safety net for our members ensuring that all is well and raising awareness of problems that may be occurring before a situation reaches crisis point. Follow up telephone calls are made to family members or other contacts should we not be able to reach someone during a calling session.

Our members choose the day or days of the week on which they would like to be called and approximate time. We offer 3 calling sessions throughout the day:

Morning – between 10am and 12 noon

Midday – between 12 noon and 2pm

Afternoon – between 2pm and 4pm

We work closely with other  local charities as well as health and welfare organisations, all of whom refer potential new members to us. But we also welcome referrals from individuals, friends and family members.

Our volunteers  come from the Derbyshire/Staffordshire area, from all age groups and from many different backgrounds. They are kind, discreet and non-judgmental. They generally make the calls from the Careline office in St Oswald’s Hospital in Ashbourne, but some of our volunteers also make calls from home.  Their involvement can be as little as 2 hours per month or on a weekly or fortnightly basis – whatever best fits in with them.

We are always keen to recruit new volunteers – please see our Volunteering page above for more information.