creating conversations and connections - jukebox telephone line

posted Wed 31 March 2021

News Story

From April to May 2021 we're running a creative programme for Farnham - High Hopes - designed to encourage people to connect, take notice, share and create.

Young child in a yellow rain jacket and wellies jumping in a puddle.

The activities have been designed through conversations with the Health Authority, the voluntary and community sector and local people with a particular ambition to engage with the widest possible community possible.

The programme kicks off with a virtual activity open to all which aims to bring people together over a shared love of songs and stories.

The jukebox telephone line is a virtual jukebox manned by volunteers. Anyone can ring the freephone* telephone line, ask for a song and engage in conversation about the song they’ve requested.

Abhi Arumbakkam created the Jukebox Telephone Line with Farnham Maltings as part of the ‘making theatre for extraordinary times’ project, connecting isolated individuals with music and conversation in the early days of the pandemic. Abhi is a writer and cultural producer based in Slough and is currently a Farnham Maltings Fellow.

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“Jukebox Telephone Line is an attempt to create conversations and connections and we’re thrilled to repeat the activity as part of the 'high hopes' project.”

Abhi Arumbakkam

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“Volunteering with the 'jukebox telephone line' was such a privilege. Music is like medicine, a tonic for the soul. Callers came to life whilst chatting about special memories associated with their favourite songs. It was a really joyful and uplifting experience.”

Mick Rowe, volunteer

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"When I talked to the 'jukebox' volunteer, everything could be spoken out without any fear. It was a great way to pour out all my troubles. People like to be listened or only approved, and argument is kind of noisy. If there's a way for people to speak out their troubles or complaints without any fear and disagreement, it would be very attractive. If Jukebox Telephone Line could continue to operate, I would like to call it anytime."

Jude Hao, jukebox telephone line caller

how to take part

  1. Call 0800 328 3168 (all calls from the UK are free of charge)
  2. Request a song, tell us why
  3. Listen to the song, sing along

Lines open: Tue 06 April - Sat 10 April 2021, 5pm - 7pm

Maybe you know someone who has felt isolated or low recently? Perhaps someone who would enjoy a chat with a friendly voice and an opportunity to share a connection over the song they choose?

download and share this flyer


*calls from the UK are free of charge

Sign off

For more information on the activities or taking part please contact Erin.

Erin Beesley

Community Organiser