A charity helpline was so inundated with calls from vulnerable and isolated older people last Christmas – it struggled to answer more than 5,000 due to a lack of funding.
More than a million pensioners admitted feeling lonely over the Christmas period, due to living alone or having no one to talk to.
The Silver Line helpline receives an average of 10,000 calls every week from vulnerable and isolated older people – a number which increases over the Christmas period.
It has received more than 1.6 million calls since it started operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 2013.
To raise awareness of the helpline’s plight, content and media agency 72Point has launched a campaign to help The Silver Line answer every single call this year.
They have created a video to encourage people to connect with others and start a conversation before it’s too late.
Nina Gopal, Director of Fundraising at The Silver Line, said: “We’re a relatively new organisation and entirely charity funded.
“Every £5 enables us to answer a call from a vulnerable and isolated older person who needs to hear a friendly voice.
“This video shows the difference a phone call can make. The Silver Line is there when all other services have closed down for Christmas.”
Sixty-eight per cent of callers contact The Silver Line because they feel lonely or isolated, with 90 per cent living alone. More than half have no-one else to speak to.
72Point Managing Director, Chris Pharo, added: “I’m incredibly proud that 72Point are helping this worthy charity.
“The plight of lonely older people at Christmas is desperately sad. If this video does anything to alleviate this then that would be excellent.”