Have you heard about the Silver Line?
The Silver Line was set up as a pilot in May 2012 by Esther Rantzen to provide a Freephone helpline for older people. It will operate UK wide 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is based on ChildLine which was founded by Esther in 1986 for children.
The line will support older people who are often reluctant to ask for help, are frightened, confused or simply want to talk to another human being having spent the day on their own. The service will provide access to information and advice and will connect people to local services and activities. The Silver Line will also support older people who are experiencing abuse, neglect or domestic violence. There will also be a befriending scheme – run by Silver Line Friends who will make weekly befriending calls to those who request them. Volunteers will also facilitate Silver Circles Conference calls on specific subjects of interest to the group.
The reason the charity was set up is due to the growing concern about the number of older people who are lonely and isolated which is a major cause of depression exacerbating the feelings of loneliness and isolation. We know many people have difficulty asking for help as they are ashamed; loneliness carries a stigma and they don’t want to be a burden. This offers a variety of ways to lift people out of the rut they are in and moving people to participate in civil life.
It is going to be very important to monitor its effectiveness so please publicize it and let us know how it has worked for you and your friends.