Helpline for older people gets backing

The Berwick agency of Yorkshire Building Society is calling on older people not to suffer in silence from loneliness this summer by promoting The Silver Line.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 19 July, 2018, 12:22
David Gordon, Joint Proprietor of the Yorkshire Building Societys local agency in Berwick, Tyne & Tweed Mortgage and Investment Services.

The charity operates a free helpline to address loneliness and isolation among older people aged 55 and over. It also signposts people to local support services and tackles issues such as abuse and neglect.

Some of the Society’s colleagues form part of the network of Silver Line Friends across the UK who make weekly calls to older people who have contacted the charity asking for help.

David Gordon, joint-proprietor of the Berwick agency, said: “We’re proud to be working in partnership with The Silver Line to raise awareness of the issues faced by older people in our community, some of whom feel very lonely and isolated.

“As people get older they can find it increasingly hard to get out and meet new friends, while at the same time having to cope with upheavals such as bereavement and ill-health. Through our partnership with The Silver Line, we can offer those affected practical help through the telephone befriending scheme.”

He added: “The feedback we get from both colleagues who volunteer their time as Silver Line Friends and beneficiaries of the scheme is amazing.”

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Sophie Andrews, Chief Executive of The Silver Line, said: “The great summer getaway often means older people are left ‘home alone’ as family, friends and neighbours leave town, while their own memories of holidays in happier times compounds their feelings of loneliness and isolation.

“In addition, the current spate of extremely hot weather has led to a surge in the number of callers to our 24/7 helpline as older people feel trapped in their homes – indeed July 2 was our busiest day ever since launch with 1,875 calls in 24 hours.”

Alongside the 247 helpline, the charity runs volunteer-led telephone and letter-writing friendship schemes - more than 4,300 ‘Silver Line Friends’ have been recruited and trained to make weekly calls/write fortnightly letters to older people they have been matched with up and down the country.

Yorkshire Building Society’s volunteering scheme allows every colleague up to 31 hours’ paid leave a year to help out at a charity or good cause of their choice.

To contact the Silver Line Helpline call 0800 4 70 80 90.