Telephone befriending service spreads its wings across Dumfries and Galloway

A telephone befriending service set up in Wigtownshire during the first lockdown is set to become regionwide thanks to a new grant.

A Listening Ear began life in March 2020 after a group of local heroes got together to think of ways to support lonely and isolated people stuck at home because of Covid.

“We thought we’d just keep going for a few months then stop when life got back to normal,” says Penny Halliday, one of the founders, “But we’re needed as much as ever as lots of our neighbours are still feeling cut off, struggling with loneliness and fearing rising costs of living.”

One of our beneficiaries or ‘Phone Friends’ as we like to call them had this to say about us “As an older person living along A Listening Ear has been a lifeline during the past few years”.

Now, thanks to funding from the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, A Listening Ear is about to become a regionwide service, open to people right across Dumfries and Galloway.

The organisation is holding two events, one in Dumfries and one online, for people and organisations to find out more about its next steps and hopefully encourage some new volunteer befrienders to come forward.

They will be at Dumfries Baptist Church on Friday December 2 from 10am-12pm or online on Tuesday November 29, from 4pm-5.30pm.

Penny said: “You can meet some of our volunteers and phone friends and hear about the difference being part of A Listening Ear has made to them.”

The events are open to anyone who would like to hear more about the charity, including other organisations that may want to refer someone they know to be matched with a volunteer, or anyone interested in Volunteering with us as a befriender or trustee.

For more details about the events, including how to sign up, contact Donna Adams-Allen, Volunteer Coordinator, on or 07466867570.