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Planning Retirement Online

A life-saving chat with a friend
thanks to Silver Line

September 2016

Let’s face it, it is not easy getting older. One big problem is that not everyone is surrounded by close family or friends who they can chat to and confide in.   

Yes, we may have more freedom and even opportunities for more fun, but inevitably as the years roll past problems begin to crop up.

One big problem is that not everyone is surrounded by close family or friends who they can chat to and confide in. Some people may have lots of casual friends but no one they can really talk to about issues and problems. Others may find that gradually friends and relations move away and they are left very much alone...many older people suffer from what is termed as “intense” loneliness.

So it is not surprising that Silver Line is often described as the lifeline for seniors.  This fabulous telephone helpline offers 24 hour confidential information, friendship, advice or just a human voice to chat to.

Silver Line is just for older people and is entirely free, staffed by a team of specially trained helpline staff. Even better, it is totally confidential, so callers can express their feelings or problems honestly without any reticence.

Many people simply call for a friendly chat; others are looking for advice or other information in which case the helpline staff can link callers to local groups or services. The staff can also offer support and advice for any older people suffering from abuse or neglect.  Sometimes people can wake in the middle of the night overwhelmed by sadness or problems; and here Silverline can be a lifesaver. One quick phone call and there is a calm supportive person listening to you and offering friendship and advice.

Silver Line even offer Silver Line Friends, when you receive a weekly friendship call; plus a Silver Circle where you can take part in a regular group chat on subjects that might be of interest.

The service started after Dame Esther Rantzen DBE wrote an article about the loneliness she experienced after being bereaved and finding herself on her own. She was inundated with responses from people who shared her experience, and after making various speeches on the subject, the full concept of Silver Line was formed.

In the four years since the idea took root, Silver Line has developed thanks to a number of grants including massive help from the Big Lottery Fund and in that short time has received nearly 1 million calls; with 53% of callers saying they literally had no-one else to speak to.

Christmas and New Year in the UK are inevitably especially difficult times for people living on their own and this is proven by the surge in calls to Silver Line. In the week immediately following Christmas last year Silver Line received over 10,000 calls and on just New Year’s Day this year they received 1,500 calls.
It is important to publicise the help number as far and wide as possible as so many people won’t admit to being lonely or feeling isolated. You may meet them happily at a coffee morning, not realising that that could be the only friendly human contact they have throughout the week.
But also Silver Line is a charity and run by volunteers so they are always looking for helpers.  You can assist in so many ways, knowing that whatever you do will be of real assistance to many people across the UK.
The help number is : 0800 470 8090.
Their website is:

Help with an exciting abseil

Silver Line is running a special Olympic Abseil Day down Britain’s tallest sculpture, the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
It is on October 1st and you don’t need any experience; all equipment and support will be provided for you to descend the 262 feet after you have taken in the amazing views of London.

The requirement is a bit of fundraising for Silver Line. Find out more here.


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