Places for People has extended its national telephone befriending service, SHAPE LINC LINE, for at least another six months.

The project is funded by the Group's Community Investment Fund and run by SHAPE Lancashire, a not-for-profit community interest organisation. It aims to support up to 400 customers with weekly calls - a lifeline for so many people, especially amid a second national lockdown.

Tackling loneliness and isolation

LINC stands for Linking Into Neighbourhoods and Communities, which reflects the ongoing work linking customers with different services and organisations.

Customers from Places for People Homes, Chorus Homes, Cotman and Derwent Living can access the service, either via referrals from colleagues, or self-referral by contacting SHAPE LINC LINE directly via email, phone or text.

Customers are referred by colleagues if they are in challenging situations which include:

  • Feelings of loneliness or isolation, with no family or little contact with family.
  • Being unable to leave the house due to mobility issues.
  • Struggling to cope with isolation and feeling fed up or bored.
  • Feeling anxious, stressed or depressed.

When a customer is referred, SHAPE LINC LINE contacts them every week, providing support and advice which is tailored to each customer individually. For example, if a customer reports that they are unable to collect shopping or medication, the team will try to arrange for a delivery of essential items. Or if a customer is struggling with their mental health, SHAPE LINC LINE supports and signposts customers to get the vital help they need.

Further to mental and physical health, SHAPE LINC LINE also helps people to stay safe by providing information on scams as well as teaching them to use their mobile devices in different ways and directing customers to free online courses to upskill.

These are just some of the ways SHAPE LINC LINE is supporting customers and communities, but there are many more. Through the service, people are offered a link back to their communities so that they feel connected to people around them.

Delivering social impact

As a leading placemaker in the UK, social impact is central to Places for People's mission to create places that work for everyone. The Group's affordable housing businesses have generated £87.9 million in social value in the past year and continue to invest in projects through social impact charity The Places Foundation and Community Investment Fund. 

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