Far too many older people spend Christmas entirely on their own, never receiving a single card or present. This year, the MCF donated £7,500 to the Silver Line helpline so that 2,000 of their callers could receive a gift and a card.
The Silver Line offers emotional support and friendship to vulnerable and isolated older people. As well as its flagship 24/7 helpline, the charity offers a telephone befriending service which matches volunteers – Silver Line Friends – with an older person, many of whom do not have anyone else to chat to, for regular weekly phone calls. These become real friendships, transforming lives and giving older people a conversation to look forward to in a lonely week.
Almost 2,000 older people receive these weekly telephone friendship calls, and this year they each also received a Christmas parcel filled with festive goodies.
Age UK partnership
The Silver Line and Age UK partnered in October 2019. This donation is part of the MCF’s strategic partnership with Age UK to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people.
Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of the Silver Line said: “The loneliness and neglect that many of our callers experience is simply heart-breaking. A Christmas box of goodies is way of reassuring them that they have not been forgotten, that they are valued, and that we are thinking of them over Christmas. I know what a huge difference these gifts will make, and I am truly grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for making them possible.”
David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to bring a little Christmas cheer to the older people who’ve been calling the Silver Line. Being alone is difficult, but it’s especially hard during the festive season. Letting them know that someone is thinking of them at this special time is hugely important.”