Tuesday 2 January, 2018
The Silver Line
In the run-up to Christmas, staff from the Charity team made a follow-up visit to the Blackpool headquarters of The Silver Line, the UK’s only 24/7, free, confidential helpline for lonely and isolated older people. The Goldsmiths' Company is delighted with the progress The Silver Line has made since awarding it a £30,000 grant in 2016 to expand its helpline service.
The helpline was launched in November 2013 by Dame Esther Rantzen. It receives 100,000 calls per week, 68% of which are made in the evenings and on weekends when other services are closed or unavailable. 90% of callers say that they live alone and 51% say they have no one else to talk to.
The Silver Line has become one the youngest charities to receive Royal Patronage (from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall). It has uncovered a hidden epidemic of loneliness among the UK’s elderly population and aims to address this issue. Additional services the charity provides are Silver Line Friends, a friendship scheme that matches helpline volunteers with an isolated older person seeking the reassurance and comfort of weekly 30 minute conversations; Silver Letters, a letter writing pen pal scheme for those who aren’t technologically-inclined; and the Silver Circles social groups for older people that have similar interests such as history, ballroom dancing and cooking.