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Saturday 24th August 2019

Silver Line Service for elderly launched

25th November 2013

Esther Rantzen has launched a new helpline for pensioners.

esther_rantzenWith this year’s World Mental Health Day being dedicated to older adults, there has been no better time for Esther Rantzen’s new phone service. Its funding comes from a £5 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

What is it?

The Silver Line is a free 24-hour phone service for the elderly. This new initiative comes 27 years after Rantzen launched the well-known ChildLine. The Silver Line aims to combat the isolation of the elderly by providing a friendship, information and advice service with trained volunteers. These volunteers will be encouraged to keep regular contact with its users in order to increase the their self-worth and encourage them to keep using the service.

Why was it introduced?

The Department of Health suggests over half of over 75s live by themselves and that this loneliness causes serious physical and mental damage. Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said ‘it was shameful that as many as 800,000 in England were chronically lonely’. There are also reports of over five million older people who consider television their main form of company.

Rantzen, the Chairwoman for The Silver Line, publicly spoke out in 2011 after losing her husband, Desmond Wilcox, who died in 2000. She said she hoped the phone number, 0800 4 70 80 90, would be remembered by all the older people when they needed friendship or advice.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: "In our busy lives we too easily forget the thousands of older people who often go for days without seeing or speaking to anyone. This service will help provide people with the companionship and support they deserve in their older years."

"If anyone is worried about an older person this winter call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 for expert advice. Lines are open from 8am to 7pm, 365 days a year."

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Wednesday 18th December 2013 @ 18:09


I want to thank profusely Esther Rantzen for giving THE SILVER LINE to the needy. I do hope I am not the first one to thank her.

I wonder if it is possible for her to get a simple telephone number for this service (such as the police help number 101 etc.,) so the elderly can easily remember.

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