THE Ilkley branch of Yorkshire Building Society is calling on older people not to suffer in silence from loneliness this summer by promoting its partnership with The Silver Line.

The charity, which was launched by Dame Esther Rantzen in 2013, operates the UK’s only free and confidential 24/7 helpline to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people aged 55 and over.

Some of the Society’s colleagues form part of the network of Silver Line Friends across the UK who make weekly calls to older people who have contacted the charity asking for help.

Sophie Andrews, chief executive of The Silver Line, said: “The great summer getaway often means older people are left ‘home alone’ as family, friends and neighbours leave town, while their own memories of holidays in happier times compounds their feelings of loneliness and isolation.

“In addition, the current spate of extremely hot weather has led to a surge in the number of callers to our 24/7 helpline as older people feel trapped in their homes – indeed July 2 was our busiest day ever since launch with 1,875 calls in 24 hours.”

Yorkshire Building Society colleagues from the branch on Station Road will be distributing information leaflets to customers during July to highlight the services that The Silver Line offer.

Anthony Pinder, manager of the Ilkley branch, said: “We’re proud to be working in partnership with The Silver Line to raise awareness of the issues faced by older people in our community, some of who feel very lonely and isolated.

“As people get older they can find it increasingly hard to get out and meet new friends while at the same time having to cope with upheavals such as bereavement and ill-health. Through our partnership with The Silver Line we can offer those affected practical help through the telephone befriending scheme.

“The feedback we get from both colleagues who volunteer their time as Silver Line Friends and beneficiaries of the scheme is amazing. That’s why we’re urging people not to suffer in silence because help is only a phone call away.”

To contact the Silver Line Helpline call 0800 4 70 80 90.