Council Backing Esther Rantzen’s ‘Child Line For Old People’

hugh town from BuzzaA new telephone service that’s been described as a ‘ChildLine for old people’ is being backed by Scilly’s Council.

Silver Line was launched by Esther Rantzen last week and is a free and confidential helpline for elderly people across the UK.

It offers advice on friendship, local social groups and services, as well as regular befriending calls.

The Council feels the new service could help combat loneliness amongst Scilly’s older residents.

Adult Social Care manager Gareth Peters said this can be a real issue for residents on Scilly.

If someone’s family is on the mainland or there’s difficulty accessing services, Scilly can become a genuinely isolated place, he says.

Social interaction can make a real difference and he praised the work of local volunteers like Island Response.

Community Services chairman Richard McCarthy say it won’t replace the work of the Council and the excellent work that the voluntary sector does with the elderly on the islands.

But he feels Silver Line will be a valuable backup to what’s already provided.

National surveys show that more than half of all 75 year-olds in the country live alone and one in ten suffer “intense” loneliness, but are reluctant to ask for help and support.

Anyone wishing to use the Silver Line service should ring 0800 4 70 80 90.