STAFF at a Somerset charity are helping beat loneliness among elderly people by regularly phoning them during lockdown.

Age UK Somerset's Friendly Phone Calls service aims to reach people feeling cut off during self isolation.

Staff regularly check in on the clients to help them feel more connected.

The calls lessen anxiety and offer people the chance to talk about their concerns so that staff can signpost them to any services that may be helpful.

An Age UK spokesman said: "This is a vital service for older people during the lockdown, many of whom do not speak to anyone else for days or even weeks."

One recipient of the weekly calls said: "It's excellent, a great help.

"It's one of the things that will help us get through this, knowing there's someone who cares enough to call you and see how you are getting on.

"It's nice having someone to talk to and complain to."

If you are over 60 and would like to use the Friendly Phone Calls service, call 01823-245610, e-mail or visit