London Mark Masons have donated £1,000 to a charity called The Silver Line.
Founded by Ester Rantzen and now part of Age UK, The Silver Line is a free confidential telephone helpline offering information, friendship and advice to older people in the UK – a service that is available 24 hours a day.
In the weeks following the start of lockdown in March, the charity saw calls to its helpline rise by 31%. Callers are generally lonely and isolated anyway, but the uncertainty over the future and the dangers of catching Covid19 just added to their anxiety and sense of being forgotten. To them (and this word is regularly used by them) The Silver Line really is a lifeline for them, and from their call staff also aim to put them in touch with either their other services (telephone befriending, advocacy and group calls), or other local and national services that may help them. At present The Silver Line is currently answering around 900 calls a day.
In terms of where the money will be spent and the impact it will have, Paul Goulden (a director) told us that to take a call to the helpline costs the charity £5, so £1,000 will allow them to answer 200 calls from lonely older people and help them be less isolated.