Hello Hunter
Members of the Hello Hunter Foundation Team, Roz Zaia, Rick Prosser, Teresa Brierley, Matt Brown and Keith Edwards.

People who are feeling a little lonely or isolated can now turn to a new service for a kind hello.

The Hello Hunter helpline was launched this week in a bid to provide Hunter residents who are struggling with support.

“It’s a helpline that has been established for the region for people who are in a state of isolation or loneliness,” chief executive Rick Prosser said.

“There is a referral line, a basic delivery and prayer service but primarily what we are offering is a friendly chat.

“If people are feeling lonely or isolated, there is a service with a volunteer on the other end of the line that is willing and prepared to help them.”

The group came about after a group of Christian leaders met in April and asked the question: ‘What can we do to help people in the region during this difficult time?’

Rick says there has been high pick-up rate for the service.

“We didn’t want to duplicate what was out there but complement it,” he said.  

“People have been very appreciative of the service, [we even] had a lady, when she found out that someone [would] call her to have a chat, in tears at the end of the phone.

“Loneliness was the epidemic before the [COVID-19] pandemic and now others have been pulled into it.

“We know something as simple as a friendly chat can dramatically impact someone.”

Rick added that the calls are taken by a volunteer from the region.

“Our ideal situation will be taking the call in close proximity, so, it’s locals helping locals.”

NOTE: Call Centre Demonstration Scenario (the neighbour in this clip has been acted by a volunteer). The privacy of all those who reach out for support is protected.

Moving forward, he hopes the service can help the community now and into the future.

“It’s all about awareness and helping people find the courage to ask for help,” he said.

The helpline can be accessed by calling 49HUNTER, sending the team a Facebook message or emailing [email protected].

Go to the Hello Hunter website for more.