The Dulverton Trust

The Silver Line

In October 2015, we awarded The Silver Line £75,000 over three years towards the core costs of their UK wide helpline.

The Silver Line runs a helpline for older people which is open around the clock 365 days a year and aims to provide friendship to combat loneliness; offer signposting to the other support services including its own weekly one-to-one calls (Silver Line Friends), group conference calls (Silver Circles) and support for those with hearing difficulties or who prefer the written word (Silver Letters); and help for those who may be suffering abuse and neglect. In its first 20 months to August 2015 the Helpline received over 520,000 calls and matched 2,254 older people to volunteer friends. Many callers have been referred by other helplines which are closed after 5pm and at weekends.

Key Achievements:

  • The Silver Line now receives on average 1,600 calls a day and anticipates answering one million calls every single year by 2018.
  • Researchers tracked the loneliness levels of 244 callers on two occasions, six months apart, and found that overall the proportion in the category ‘most lonely’ fell by 4% and those in ‘least lonely’ rose threefold.
  • Feedback such as this from a caller’s relative, confirms the importance of operating ‘out of office’ hours: “I just wanted to write to say “thank you” for help you recently gave to my 87 year old aunt who phoned you in the middle of the night – she was panicking, alone and very frightened about a particular situation. You gave her a voice of reason and someone to talk to when she felt totally alone in the world and very lost. She was treated with dignity, respect and taken 100% seriously even though she was very muddled. I cannot thank you enough.”

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