Thanks to funding from Great Aycliffe and Middridge Area Action Partnership and County Durham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), leading local health and wellbeing charity the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) is delighted to launch a new free telephone Befriending Service, “Every Call Counts”.

“Every Call Counts” befrienders are trained to provide friendly, helpful support. They take the time to talk about how you are feeling, they can help you to overcome difficulties, plan more effectively or share hobbies and interests. The dedicated team will also use their local knowledge to provide information on activities and groups you might be interested in joining in the future.

Carol Gaskarth, PCP’s Chief Executive, said: “What started off as a small project, with an emphasis on older people in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge area, has developed into a service which can be accessed by adults across County Durham, due to match funding from the CCG.

“Even without a pandemic, during winter months many people feel lonely and the days can be very long. Regular contact with a befriender can provide companionship, a friendly voice, reassurance and a listening ear. For now the support we can offer will be over the phone or through video-calling, but, when circumstances allow, our team of befrienders will be out and about meeting people and connecting with them in communities.”

If you would like to access the Every Call Counts Befriending Service, or make a referral, please contact us by telephone on 01325 329934 or email:

For further information about PCP please contact us at the Pioneering Care Centre, Carer’s Way, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4SF tel: 01325 321234 email: website: Or follow PCP on Twitter: @PioneeringCare and Facebook: @PCPandCentre