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June 1, 2016

Client of the month - The Silver Line

Our client of the month for June is The Silver Line - the only free, national and confidential helpline for lonely and isolated older people, that operates 365-days-a-year, 24-hours-a-day.

Founded by Dame Esther Rantzen, The Silver Line is the only free, national and confidential helpline for lonely and isolated older people, that operates 365-days-a-year, 24-hours-a-day. The number is 0800 4 70 80 90.

This year the helpline will receive its one millionth call since its national launch in November 2013. Some 68% of calls to the helpline are made in the evenings and weekends when other services are closed.

The Silver Line also offers telephone and letter friendship schemes where volunteers are matched with lonely and isolated older people. Around 2,500 telephone calls take place every week between volunteers and older people, on top of the 10,000 calls a week received by the helpline.

Other services provided by The Silver Line include: Silver Circles, a regular group call on a range of subjects that interest the callers; and Silver Connects, which helps older people to access local and national services.



Become a Silver Line Friend

If you'd like to support The Silver Line, why not become a volunteer Silver Line Friend? They urgently need 1,000 more volunteers to meet the demand from older people.

Every week the helpline receives around 10,000 calls from lonely older people who literally have no else to speak to for days on end. As one caller told them: "Thank you all so much for being there when I was totally alone in the world."

Silver Line Friends are volunteers who are matched to an older person by understanding their likes, dislikes, hobbies etc. The volunteer then makes regular, weekly, telephone calls to them. Calls last 30 minutes, are free, and can be made from your own home.

The Silver Line ensures volunteers receive all appropriate training and provides any support needed to make the match a success.

As one volunteer of Silver Line Friend said: "You build a real bond. I couldn't recommend becoming a Silver Line Friend highly enough. It's easily done and even if you work long hours you can still fit that short amount of time in. It's really enjoyable."

If you'd like more details about becoming a Silver Line telephone friend, email volunteering@thesilverline.org.uk.

Or to find out more how The Silver Line combats loneliness and isolation in older people, make a donation, or learn about the services it offers, go to www.thesilverline.org.uk.

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