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“Your service is very well placed to help people like me. I can close my front door and not open it again for five days.”


“CareLink is great. Some of the people I talk to are really funny and we have a great chat. I look forward to my calls because sometimes I don’t see a soul all day. I don’t feel so cut off from everybody.”


“I think the service is a wonderful thing. There are people who are shy and I think coming on the trips would bring them out of themselves. I’d recommend CareLink to others; you feel as if people care about you.”


On what it means to be the only voice they hear on Christmas day

“Thank you so much for ringing on Christmas Day. It’s made my day knowing someone cares; I didn’t think I’d get to speak to anyone today.”

“Christmas is about making memories and my most special memory this Christmas will be getting your call.”

“It means a lot getting your call – especially today of all days!”

“My Merry Christmas this year was my call from CareLink.”


The CareLink befriending service helps some of Stoke’s loneliest and most vulnerable older people and does a fantastic job of supporting them, including helping them with their health needs. By picking up on problems before they turn into crises, we are able to help people remain healthier for longer, and save money for the NHS.

Dave Sanzeri   Head of Commissioning, North Staffs Clinical Commissioning Groups

See personal stories of how our CareLink friends have benefitted from the service on the OUR FRIENDS page.


“At a time when the government is counting every penny it spends, anyone who asks for more of it has to come up with some pretty good reasons for why they deserve it. This includes universities. Our country’s academics spend millions every year on research. Much of it is your money. You have every right to know it is not being wasted.

“I’m a postgraduate student at Keele University. My research examines how useful poetry is at promoting well-being in older adults. Do different themes of poetry have different effects (it seems that they do); what psychological mechanisms are at play? I’ve partnered with local care homes who are really keen to help as they think it will benefit their residents.

“I’ve also teamed up with Saltbox. I’ve found their local knowledge and book of contacts invaluable. Even better than that, some of their members, via CareLink, have even agreed to participate directly in a study which evaluates the effectiveness of poetry-based programmes. In addition, the OPEN project has proven invaluable in providing introductions to key contacts at residential homes and the city council’s Ageing Well team – along with several staff and committee members to facilitate group reading sessions.

“It’s extraordinarily gratifying to have enjoyed so much interest and support in my research from a local charity that is so important to the lives of many of Stoke on Trent’s older people. And through Saltbox I am able to spread the news, as it were, about how your money is being spent and why. Hopefully,  by the end of it, you’ll agree that it was all good value for money.”

Richard Seymour – Poetry Research Project, Keele University 2017


If you know someone over 65 who struggles with social exclusion, search our community directory map for events, groups and services that can help nearby.


There are many ways you can make a difference to older people who live near you, from volunteering to make phone calls to organising activities.


Help us help older people struggling with life’s challenges alone by donating to CareLink. Click to visit our donations page.