HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has marked her 70th birthday by agreeing to become Patron of The Silver Line Helpline.
She is the first royal patron of the charity that was launched by Dame Esther Rantzen in November 2013 and which offers information, friendship and advice to older people across the UK.
Dame Esther said she was thrilled at the news. She commented: “The Duchess has an understanding and empathy for older people who are so often forgotten and undervalued in today’s busy world. She cares about them, and values them as we do. It is a real accolade for a young charity which is not yet four years old, and a tribute to the work of our team that we have been recognised in this way.”
The Silver Line has received nearly one and a half million calls from older people around the country. Of these 80% are phoning for the first time each month.
The helpline receives on average 10,000 calls per week. Around 5% of older people calling the helpline report present or historic abuse.
It also supports 3,000 isolated and vulnerable older people with friendship calls from trained volunteers, The Silver Line Friends.
Professor Patrick Geoghegan, Chair of the charity, said: “The Patronage of The Duchess of Cornwall will strengthen us in our work, and assist us to spread that message, that loneliness is a killer destroying not only quality of life, but mental and physical health. We are determined to work with other charities to fight the nation’s epidemic of loneliness blighting the lives of millions of older people.”
- Royal patronage helps boost awareness of charities (11 July 2017)
- Queen to step down as patron of 25 organisations (16 December 2016)
- Patron’s lunch celebrates Queen’s patronage of 600 charities (7 March 2016)
Photo: The Duchess of Cornwall by British Embassy Paris on Flickr.com
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