A Toll-Free Help-Line to Alleviate Loneliness

Project location: ITALY
Project start date: June 2003 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2003-06
Beneficiary: Associazione Messaggeri della Pace

 Toll-free number: 800.22.22.24

The Association "Messaggeri della Pace" is an non-profit association founded in Spain in 1962. It is operating in several countries worldwide in thoughtful support of the most unprotected social classes.
The organization is operating in Italy since 1998 with a special attention to the aged persons through the "Telefono Dorato" a telephone free service meant for people who feel lonely and need comfort or just a friendly voice. The call center is active 12 hours per day and is managed by trained volunteer operators.
In the last years the association extended its activity providing also home assistance.

The association activity is tightly tied to the support of those many volunteers who devote their time to the most needy.
The volume of our users is growing day by day the same as our efforts to provide a better service, the more careful and spread as possible.
By this time, in order to achieve the best assistance possible, our work can no longer be only in the hands of the volunteers who, despite their efforts, can not always be present. The association needs to reorganize the work by recruiting an official employee who can coordinate and manage the volunteers shifts, who can work to set up a files archive, user by user, in order to provide any useful information to whoever answers the phone to better manage each case. An employee who can always be there and take care of all the secretariat issues.
In the last years the association has extended its service providing also home assistance but our main activity remains the call center: the "Telefono Dorato" (golden telephone).
The calls are entirely free to users, via a green number linked to four different telephone lines.
With the aim to improve the service, the past year the association replaced the old switchboard to better manage the volume of calls.
The efforts are getting more and more rewarding and, besides requiring a new management structure, this outstanding increase of incoming calls also considerably increase telephone costs that the association is unable to afford.

The NPF has extended its support to this project to the year 2006, 2010 and 2012. [2005-37, 2007-32, 2010-08, 2012-44]

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