The online tool fighting loneliness is sweeping the awards

by Tom Peterson on 22 September 2017

There are over 1.2 million lonely older people in England.

Age UK is working to end later life loneliness on a national scale by using digital to help scale their telephone befriending service ‘Call in time’.

The ‘Call in Time’ service, is an essential service provided by Age UK where Volunteers sign up online to make a weekly half-hour phone call to an older person to chat, discuss, befriend and enlighten each other’s lives. Age UK have been manually matching older people with volunteers and scheduling calls for years. It was a high-quality service but was impossible to deliver an impact at the scale required. Age UK wanted to utilise digital to automate the process while still making sure that every call is a rewarding and safe experience.

Following research and service design by Webcredible, the new service has helped increase thousands of volunteers, and elderly befriend each other through an easy to use interface. Webcredible designed and validated the digital service, delivering an engaging user experience.  The results have been incredible.

The new Call in Time service went live successfully in November and was announced on Good Morning Britain as part of a national later life loneliness campaign reaching over 1 million people. Age UK was inundated with would-be volunteers signing up, with over 2,600 new volunteers and over 500 more older people for the waiting list. All this has been achieved without the need to scale the Age UK team.

The campaign was so successful Age UK had to pause new volunteer applications to enable us to bring more older people into the service to meet the British public’s desire to help.

The industry has been quick to recognise the hard work of Webcredible, Reason Digital and Age UK with the project picking up two BIMA 2017 awards for the ‘Product and Service Design: Conscience’ and ‘Advanced Award for Conscience’, a Third Sector Award for ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ and most recently, we added a UXUK 'Best Innovation' award to our collection. 

Andy Ingle, Experience Director at Webcredible, said “We’re delighted to win this award in acknowledgement of all the work we’ve been doing with Age UK to help them transform into a digitally-led charity. Of all our work the projects we truly value are the ones that make a difference to the lives of those in need.”

Lara Burns, Chief Digital officer at Age UK said: “I’m really proud of what we have been able to achieve with the Call in Time website which has ultimately ensured that more volunteers can connect with lonely older people through our vital befriending service which offers the only contact some older people have on a regular basis.”

Scroll through to 32:19 on the video below to see Andy Ingle picking up Award Number Four for Best Innovation at the UXUK Awards with Age UK.

UXUK Awards 2017 from UXUK Awards on Vimeo.

Notes to Editors:


Webcredible helps businesses innovate, transform and succeed in a digital world.

We carry out research with your customers and then design products, services and ways of working based on their needs.

We've been doing UX, service design, customer experience and digital transformation for ages, long before they became buzz words. We've grown from one person's vision for a UX agency in 2003... into a customer experience consultancy that helps world-leading brands innovate, transform and succeed in a digital world. Our work impacts the lives of millions of people globally.

For more information, please contact a member of the team via,  +44 (0)20 7423 6320 or visit our website


For more information on the BIMA awards go to

For more information on the Third Sector Awards go to

For more information on the UXUK Awards go to

Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.  We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and wellbeing, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group (“we”).  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

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