Betty, who is 90 years old and from Hampshire, was very excited to receive a call from Her Royal Highness and Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of The Silver Line, for a friendly chat and to find out how Betty was coping during this time.
Betty has been using The Silver Line’s services shortly after it first began in 2012, and has kept in touch with the Duchess since first speaking with her in 2017 as part of a telephone friendship call.
The Duchess, Dame Esther and Betty talked about how they were missing their grandchildren but were enjoying spending time outside in the garden, and Betty shared some poetry she had recently written.
Betty said: “I’m very touched that the Duchess of Cornwall and Dame Esther reached out to me, it was so lovely to catch up with them and I’m pleased they enjoyed my poem. It was just like talking with old friends and I couldn’t believe how long we were on the phone for.”
“It’s a really worrying time at the moment, especially for those living on their own. Telephone calls and the service The Silver Line provides are really important when you need some reassurance and someone to talk to. I often call The Silver Line in the middle of the night for a chat, so I know how comforting a phone call can be.”
Older people are among those hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, and calls to The Silver Line – which have increased by up to 31% since the start of the outbreak – have highlighted just how worried the older population are.
Callers have reported feeling afraid of dying alone, and of not being able to get medical help when they need it. Many also feel overwhelmed by the amount of information about coronavirus and not knowing who or what to trust about the issue.
“For many lonely people, The Silver Line represents a lifeline into the outside world,” said HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. “As its proud Patron I am thinking about all the Silver Liners, the staff and the volunteers in these challenging times.”
“Once again it was a huge pleasure to talk to Betty, as I always find her indomitable spirit truly inspiring. We both agreed that we must all keep picking up the telephone, keep sharing our thoughts and keep making friends. It is these little things that help get us all through these dark days and find light at the end of them.”