Duchess of Cornwall reaches out to older people struggling with loneliness during lockdown

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  • The Duchess of Cornwall has reached out to support older people who are experiencing loneliness since the UK went into lockdown.

    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has reached out to support the elderly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has meant that many older members of the population have been isolating alone at home amid the current UK lockdown.

    In a show of support to her patronage charity The Silver Line, a 24-hour helpline for older people to contact when they are lonely or in need of assistance, the Duchess reached out to one of the elderly people the charity has supported.

    Alongside the helpline founder Dame Esther Rantzen, Duchess Camilla made a phone call to 90-year-old Betty, who has been using the charity’s services since just after they began back in 2012.

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    The Duchess of Cornwall had a friendly chat with 90-year-old Betty from Hampshire to see how she was coping at this difficult time and lend a friendly ear. Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of @TheSilverLineUK, also joined the call. HRH first spoke to Betty when visiting the charity’s headquarters in 2017 and this week they spoke about how hard it is being separated from family and Betty’s memories of the war. It is more important than ever for older people to have people to speak to and somewhere to turn to for support. @TheSilverLineUK, of which The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron, is a charity that operates a 24-hour helpline for older people to call if they are lonely or in need of help. Those wishing to speak to someone can call 📞 0800 470 8090, day or night. @Age_UK have launched a Coronavirus Emergency Appeal to help their charity partner @TheSilverLineUK to continue to provide round-the-clock support and a listening ear whenever an older person needs it. Find out more over on @Age_UK.

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    The pair reached out to Betty for a friendly chat and to check how she was coping during this time of isolation.

    “For many lonely people, The Silver Line represents a lifeline into the outside world,” said the Duchess.

    “As its proud Patron I am thinking about all the Silver Liners, the staff and the volunteers in these challenging times.

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    “Once again it was a huge pleasure to talk to Betty, as I always find her indomitable spirit truly inspiring. We both agreed that we must all keep picking up the telephone, keep sharing our thoughts and keep making friends.

    “It is these little things that help get us all through these dark days and find light at the end of them.”

    “I’m very touched that the Duchess of Cornwall and Dame Esther reached out to me, it was so lovely to catch up with them,” added Betty.

    “It was just like talking with old friends and I couldn’t believe how long we were on the phone for.

    “It’s a really worrying time at the moment, especially for those living on their own,” she continued. “Telephone calls and the service The Silver Line provides are really important when you need some reassurance and someone to talk to.

    “I often call The Silver Line in the middle of the night for a chat, so I know how comforting a phone call can be.”

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    Dame Esther Rantzen also spoke out about the call, saying, “Everyone at The Silver Line is delighted when our Royal Patron, the Duchess of Cornwall, speaks to our isolated and vulnerable callers, her example makes such a difference, and I know Betty enjoyed their conversation enormously”.

    The Silver Line can be reached on 0800 4 70 80 90 at any time of day, or if you would like to donate to The Silver Line and Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/coronaappeal.

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