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News : Helpline for Lonely Older People Gets its One Millionth Call
London, UK, Aug 23, 2016 -- The Silver Line helpline for lonely and isolated older people (0800 4 70 80 90) has received its one millionth call in just over 21⁄2 years.
Launched by Dame Esther Rantzen in November 2013, the charity’s leaders say they have been stunned by the epidemic of loneliness they’ve uncovered among the nation’s older people.
The growing demand from lonely older people means The Silver Line now needs to raise money to pay for the night-time and weekends service. The charity says that without more public donations the vital service will have to close.
The millionth call came on a record-breaking day for the 24-hour helpline with over 1,600 calls received from older people, out-stripping the previous highest number of calls on New Year’s Day 2016.
The Silver Line’s Founder, Dame Esther Rantzen said: "I knew there was a need for the helpline but to answer one million calls in such a short
space of time is desperately sad.
"Calls to the helpline increase almost every week as we uncover the epidemic of loneliness among our oldest and most vulnerable people.
"Our callers tell us that nights can be the worst times of all when they really need someone to talk to and confide in.
"We urgently need more donations to keep the night-time service going so we are always there for the people who need us most."
Over two-thirds of calls to the helpline are at night and weekends and over half of all callers say they have no one else to speak to apart from The Silver Line.
Chief Executive of The Silver Line, Sophie Andrews said:"Every day we speak to lonely older people who have led varied and interesting lives but are
now isolated and literally have no one to speak to for days on end.
"Over 90% of our callers say they live alone and rely on the helpline – especially at night when other services are closed.
"We’re the only helpline specifically for older people, which is there 24/7, every day of the week, including Christmas and Bank Holidays."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About The Silver Line:
The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Published: Friday, August 26, 2016