Befriending and being there
The Silver Line Helpline forms part of our wide-ranging support services for people who feel lonely or isolated. At a national level, the Age UK Telephone Friendship Service supports almost 5,000 older people every week with a regular telephone call - a lifeline to many who desperately need contact.
And at a local level, many of our partners run face-to-face befriending services, with thousands of older people receiving visits from trained, compassionate people offering friendship and support.
At the heart of all these services are volunteers. These volunteers give their time, of course, but they also provide a listening ear, empathy, a comforting word, as well as a joke and some good cheer.
We couldn't do without our befriending volunteers, but we desperately need more and next year we'll be launching a major new campaign to recruit more.
In the meantime, please consider supporting our Christmas Appeal this year, to help us be there for older people on the hardest days, and every day, by providing friendship and support.
And thank you Dame Esther for bringing The Silver Line to so many older people.