ExxonMobil answers call for help

Donation helps to buy Age Concern New Forest new telephone system

Answering in the region of 1,600 calls a year from elderly people in need of help and advice is quite a challenge. Answering those calls on an antiquated telephone system makes it even more of a task.

That was the case at Age Concern New Forest, until ExxonMobil Fawley stepped in with a £1,000 donation. The money has helped to buy the charity a new system which has transformed the way staff and volunteers have been able to deal with callers.

Jean Adams, CEO of the Dibden Purlieu-based charity, said: “The new integrated telephone system is fantastic. It has brought us into the 21st Century. The previous phones were very old fashioned and, in some respects, they held us back a bit in terms of the service we could give to our callers.

“Now we can do so much more. We can screen incoming calls and forward them to another phone if someone is already busy talking to someone. It has made what we do here much more seamless.”

ExxonMobil at Fawley has sponsored the charity’s freephone service for a number of years and was only too happy to help when Jean approached the Community Affairs department with a plea for help. “We run Age Concern New Forest on a very tight shoestring so we are extremely grateful for all the support we get from ExxonMobil,” Jean said.

The charity, which has five part-time staff and about 200 volunteers, offers support and advice to elderly people. Often, calls are in connection with financial problems, housing issues and health concerns. It is estimated that so far in the 2015/16 financial year, the organisation has been able to secure £360,000 in benefits for callers, many of whom simply didn’t realise they were entitled to them.

Jean explained: “Many of the elderly people we help come to us because they can’t pay their bills and are struggling financially. We talk through their circumstances and where we can help, we do.”

Angharad Vaughan, Community Affairs Adviser at ExxonMobil Fawley, said: “Our association with Age Concern New Forest goes back a number of years through our sponsorship of the charity’s freephone service.

“We are delighted to have been able to help fund the new telephone system. We hope that it will not only improve the experience for callers, but also make it easier for all those at the charity to provide such a vital and worthwhile service.”

To find out more about the services offered by Age Concern New Forest, or how you can help, visit ageconcernnewforest.org.uk

For advice and support, call free of charge on 0800 085 6625.

Picture caption.

Back row, from left to right: Jane Vickers from Age Concern New Forest, Angharad Vaughan, Community Affairs Adviser for ExxonMobil Fawley, and Jean Adams, CEO of Age Concern New Forest.
Sitting: Barbara Mason, also of Age Concern New Forest.