A survey amongst Annington's staff in 2018 identified that loneliness amongst the elderly was a key concern and in response, Annington invited the Silver Line to talk to us about their work.
The Silver Line is the UK's only 24-hour free, confidential helpline for vulnerable and isolated older people, open every day and night of the year. Since launching nationally by Dame Esther Rantzen in November 2013, the helpline has received more than 2.2 million calls, over half from older people who have no one else at all to turn to, with some calling simply to say "goodnight". More than two thirds of all calls are at nights and weekends when other services are closed.
Having learnt about the devastating impact loneliness can have on the elderly, Annington agreed to support the charity for 12 months with a donation of £100,000 - enough to fund 20,000 calls to the charity's helpline in 2019. Furthermore, several staff committed to fundraising activities during the charity's Silver Week in May 2019 and a number volunteered to be Phone Friends.
The charity reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had at its height seen an increase in call levels of 63% to its Helpline and in response, we agreed to support the charity for a further 12 months with a second donation of £100,000.
For more information on the work of The Silver Line visit www.thesilverline.org.uk