Thornbury & Yate MP Steve Webb has welcomed a new confidential phone line service launched this week focused exclusively on the needs of older people. The service, known as the Silver Line, has been developed by TV personality Esther Rantzen, who launched Childline back in the 1980s.
The Silver Line is a free, 24 hours per day, helpline where older people can ring up for information, advice or simply a chat. If they wish, callers can arrange for a named volunteer to ring them back, and further calls can be made by the same volunteer on a weekly basis. The service has already been piloted and has proved popular with those who used it. One person said that ‘the call with Sliver Line made me feel like a member of the human race again’.
Local MP Steve Webb, who attended the Westminster launch this week, has warmly welcomed the new initiative. He said:
“With growing numbers of people living on their own, it can be so easy for people to become isolated, especially if they have difficulty getting out because of poor health or lack of transport. Too many older people have very little human contact from one day to the next. I therefore welcome this free, 24 hour, phone service designed specifically for the needs of older people. Whilst as communities we can and should do more to try to reduce isolation, I am sure that a confidential phone line, available at all times of day and night, will be a valuable source of support for isolated older residents”.
The telephone number for the service is 0800 4 70 80 90, and the website is www.thesilverline.org.uk