This mini call centre will join generations together to share advice

A phoneline is being trialled for young people to get advice and guidance – manned entirely by the elderly.

The mini call centre will open its lines on Wednesday 27th March between 10am and 4pm enabling young adults access to pearls of wisdom from older generations.

Whether you’ve a dilemma, feelings of loneliness or simply need some relationship advice from a third party, a quick call to the number could be just the ticket to gaining some perspective on a matter.

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The voluntary staff will be working a six-hour shift and will be supplied with endless tea, coffee, biscuits, and ready meals in exchange for their wisdom. The phone line is being trialled by meal delivery company Parsley Box, which takes orders via a call centre as well as online, to better cater to its customers, whose average age is 76.

Ian Morrison, from the brand said: “So often, it’s made out that older adults are looking for someone to speak to, but we believe there’s so much knowledge and experience they can offer to the younger generations.

“So, we wanted to try something unique, and give young people the opportunity to pick up the phone to a welcoming older adult on hand ready to provide advice on whatever topic they choose. Depending on the success of the trial, we could certainly look to make it a regular thing as it’s a win-win for all generations."

This phoneline aims to allow young adults to get things off their chestsThis phoneline aims to allow young adults to get things off their chests
This phoneline aims to allow young adults to get things off their chests | PinPep

Return of the phoneline

It follows research of 500 adults over 60 years old which found half (49 per cent) wish they could give advice to younger generations on topics ranging from financial planning to self-confidence.

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Health and wellness, coping with change and relationship advice were other varying topics they felt they could provide nuggets of wisdom for. However, 39 per cent were rarely asked for advice by younger generations – with 23 per cent having never encountered it at all.

Interestingly, the need is more than matched by the desire to give as a further study of 500 young adults aged 18 to 30 revealed 74 per cent wished they asked older adults for guidance more frequently, and 84 per cent said their wisdom should be called upon more than it is, according to the data from OnePoll.

However, young adults stop short of asking due to potential of differing views between generations (42 per cent) and 36 per cent worry their problem will seem silly.

And 26 per cent lack the confidence to ask, with the same number unable to remember the last time they went to someone over 60 for their thoughts, despite 58 per cent citing their life experience makes them perfect to lend advice.

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Having dealt with many situations themselves, having wisdom in abundance and being able to give a wider perspective were the other top reasons retirees were seen as a great source of guidance.

Ian Morrison for Parsley Box, which is trialling the hotline [0800 488 0604], added: “The research clearly shows there’s an appetite for the phone line, which is great.

“We hope young adults can take the leap to get something off their chest with someone who is willing to listen and provide their thoughts in a friendly and positive way. This is also a great way to provide older adults with a feeling of purpose and self-worth when sometimes it can be a little lonely if people overlook you for those key conversations – particularly when you have so much wisdom to impart.”

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