Talking is the first step
The aim of the telephone service malreden is to alleviate the loneliness experienced by elderly people, at least for a moment. The volunteers staffing the lines listen without judging, taking the caller seriously and treating them with respect. Talking about loneliness and other difficulties really helps.
Volunteering with malreden is also rewarding for the listeners, starting with the three-day training course before they take their first call. It is important that the volunteers feel comfortable when on a call and can identify and maintain boundaries should a call become difficult. Volunteer wellbeing during each assignment is also prioritized by means of ongoing support and constructive dialog.
“Working with malreden has been an extremely gratifying experience and it’s hugely satisfying to know I’ve done something good for lonely people by listening to them. There have been many interesting conversations that have really broadened my horizons. It’s been very enjoyable and fulfilling,” confirms Sandra, who has been volunteering with malreden since December 2022.
“I’ve achieved my personal goal if the callers feel better at the end of the call than they did at the beginning. It’s really amazing how much difference listening to lonely people can make.”
malreden ist ein Projekt des gemeinnützigen Vereins Silbernetz Schweiz mit Sitz in Bern. Einfach mal reden, das vermissen viele ältere Menschen. Doch ihnen fehlen Partnerin und Partner, Freunde oder Verwandte. Wege aus dieser Einsamkeit öffnet das Gesprächsangebot malreden. Über die Gratisnummer 0800 890 890 sind geschulte Gesprächspartnerinnen und Gesprächspartner erreichbar: Jeden Tag von 9 bis 20 Uhr, vertraulich und anonym. Zu den gleichen Zeiten telefonieren als Telefontandem regelmässig die gleichen Personen einmal pro Woche eine Stunde miteinander.