Shrewsbury brothers bring cheerful chat to the elderly during pandemic

By Nick Humphreys | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Three cheerful Shrewsbury brothers have been bringing smiles all round with their chatline for old people during the coronavirus crisis.

Ben, Tom and Johnnie Thurstan have started a chatline for the elderly

The Thurstan brothers from Hadnall have set up CheerfulChat, a charitable venture so old folks can talk to young people every day and know someone is there for them.

With many old people following the government advice to self-isolate, Tom, 14, Johnnie, 12, and nine-year-old Ben felt many of them might be feeling lonely or scared.

CheerfulChat is all about young people calling these older people up and talking to them - just to give them a little bit of company and let them know that someone's thinking about them.

The brothers started making calls this week from home and have had a good response. They’ve also made a short film to share on social media and help spread the word.

Tom said: “This pandemic is really scary and stressful for everyone. We felt a bit helpless and really sad for old people who couldn’t leave home for three months. We wanted to do our bit and calling people up seemed like the best way to help. It doesn’t cost them anything and we don’t need to leave our house so we can do it during the lockdown.”

Johnnie added: “Since the lockdown started we’ve been calling up our grandparents to talk to them and check they’re okay. But lots of old people don’t have grandparents. Who’s going to call them?”

To book, call the chatline on 01939 211726, or go to the website

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Shrewsbury.

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