Islanders living alone are being given the chance to get paired up with a penpal, or telephone friend.

Sovereign Housing Association has teamed up with Omega - the National Association for End of Life Care - to roll out the project.

Omega mainly supports people who are over the age of 75 and still caring for someone else,  as well as those who are bereaved, or near the end of their life.

To help them feel less isolated, ‘A letter from Louise’ and ‘Chatterbox Action Against Loneliness’ provide a chance to get regular contact, by post or over the phone.

"Our residents will be matched with someone with similar interests. They will have plenty to talk about!"

Isle of Wight housing association Sovereign is offering residents over the age of 18 the opportunity to pair up with a fully vetted penpal, or those over the age of 75 the chance to find a ‘telephone friend’.

Sovereign Community Development Officer, Toby Eaglen, said: “We all feel lonely sometimes, and Islanders sometimes face an extra barrier. The letter writing scheme might work especially for someone who feels anxious about talking on the telephone and prefers to get their thoughts down on paper.

“Our residents will be matched with someone with similar interests so they will have plenty to talk about. If they don’t feel able to write back, they can send newspaper or magazine articles that interest them, photographs, or simply receive letters, with no obligation to reply. Monthly letters are encouraged but no expectation is made. The excitement of receiving something through the post is universal, I think!”

How can I sign up to get a letter or a call?

  • Email for a penpal
  • Email for a telephone friend
  • Call 01743 245 088
  • Write to Omega, London House, Town Walls, Shrewsbury, SY1 1TX