What We Do

Why does The Silver Line exist?

The statistics about older people and loneliness are frightening. More than half of all 75 year olds in the UK live alone and one in 10 suffers “intense” loneliness but is reluctant to ask for help. In a poll conducted to mark the national launch of The Silver Line on 25 November 2013, 9 out of 10 older people told researchers that “a chat on the phone” is the most helpful solution when they feel lonely but 1 in 4 older people say they never or seldom have someone to chat to on the phone.

About the Silver Line Helpline

The Silver Line is the confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK* open every day and night of the year. Our specially trained helpline staff:

  • Offer information, friendship and advice
  • Link callers to local groups and services
  • Offer regular befriending calls
  • Protect and support those who are suffering abuse and neglect

*Silver Line Scotland is delivered by Age Scotland in partnership with The Silver Line during week days, 9am – 5pm. At all other times calls will be answered at the national helpline HQ. 

Who is it for?

The Silver Line is a helpline for older people.  We have no strict age limits but most people we speak to are over 65. So, if you think it’s for you, it’s for you.

Are All Calls Free?

The Silver Line Helpline is free to callers.

We rely on charitable donations from organisations and individuals who care about the welfare and safety of older people to fund this vital service.

Are all calls confidential?

The Silver Line is a confidential helpline.

Callers are free to express their feelings and describe their lives honestly, and can trust us to respect their privacy.

In cases of abuse or neglect, with the callers’ permission, we will involve specialist safeguarding organisations such as Action on Elder Abuse or Social Services.

Silver Line Friends and Silver Circles

If callers would like to be put in touch with Silver Line Friends, they can receive a regular weekly friendship call. Or they may like to join a Silver Circle and take part in a regular group call on subjects that interest them.

Silver Line Friends are volunteers who have contacted The Silver Line because they enjoy talking to older people.

Silver Letters

Silver Letters is the exchange of regular letters and correspondence between an older person and a volunteer Silver Line Friend.  All postage is free and sent via our mail centre.  We match older people to like-minded volunteers. It is not a counselling service and Silver Line Friends will not ever meet or know the address of the people they write to.

Silver Line Connects

Since launching in November 2015, the Silver Line Connects team has worked with older people on issues ranging from housing and health issues, to finding lunch clubs and even financial concerns. Our aim is to ensure that older people are able to express their views and opinions, and better connect with services.  Read more about the service here.

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