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A call a minute to loneliness helpline

April 12, 2018

Silver Line took a record 48,000 calls in March, a 24% increase on the same month last year, with the cold weather said to be partly to blame.

On Easter Sunday more people contacted the helpline than on the peak days over the Christmas and New Year period.

The charity’s chief executive Sophie Andrews said: “We know that for our callers, bank holidays throughout the year seem interminably long and lonely – they often describe them as ‘a month of Sundays’, and when combined with holiday occasions traditionally focused on celebrating with loved ones, it can be even more challenging for them.

“We also frequently heard from those calling between Good Friday and Easter Monday that their family and friends had gone away for the long weekend, leaving them home alone.

“More generally however, these figures underline what we hear from older people phoning us every day: that loneliness isn’t just for Christmas – it is their reality all year round.”

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Silver Line’s founder and president, Dame Esther Rantzen said: “80% of our callers in March were reaching out to us for the first time, so I am delighted that more and more older people now know about The Silver Line, that we are free, confidential, and that they can ring us any time of day or night, even when all the other services shut down, for instance on Easter Sunday.

“I am, of course, very sad that so many thousands are so isolated and alone that they have nobody else to speak to except us, and no-one to share with them their memories of happier Easters.”

:: The Silver Line number is: 0800 4 70 80 90