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 50 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 420 calls a week, which equates to over 22,000 calls a year, 7 days a week, 365 days 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, Reaching Communities and the local community Careline expanded the area of coverage to the North Dales including Matlock, Bakewell, Crich,  Staffordshire, Burton upon Trent, Erewash and all the surrounding villages. Fastly approaching another decade of operation, Careline is working on exciting plans to engage and bring the community together through a variety of community projects and activities.

Our members can be an individual or a couple who experience difficulty going out without help, feel lonely or isolated or are in need of further social connection. Calls are also made to the recently bereaved or recently discharged from hospital or to a carer who needs someone else to talk to. Since Covid 19, calls are also made to some people who work from home and value social contact. Our service offer friendship, greater social interaction and community engagement through a range of fundraising activities throughout the year.

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 community/voluntary and statutory organisations including health and social care to ensure a holistic approach to meet our members needs.  This includes Social Prescribers, Community Co-ordinators, GPs etc who also make referrals.  We also welcome referrals from individuals, friends and families with the individuals permission.

Our volunteers come from the areas we serve, from all age groups and from many different backgrounds. They are kind, discreet and non-judgmental. They make the calls either from the Careline office in St Oswald’s Hospital in Ashbourne, or from home, using a password protected database.  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.