Jenny, Session Supervisor- Silver Line Scotland reports back from our Launch week:
Today was the official launch of Silver Line Scotland. The team had decorated the Helpline with silvery decorations and made Esther Rantzen a cake to commemorate the launch. We also dressed for the occasion in a variety of silver clothing, shoes and accessories.
We had a busy start to the morning with calls in the first few minutes of opening. The Silver Line is open 24 hours on 0800 4 70 80 90, but Silver Line (UK) manage the calls overnight from their centre in Blackpool, then Silver Line Scotland take the Scottish calls from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.
Esther came in to the Helpline at about 12.30 after meeting with press and photographers to speak about the service. She chatted with the team about some of the types of calls that Silver Line had received through the pilot period and the types of calls the Scottish team have been getting this week. We are all hoping that Silver Line becomes the first point of contact for older people in Scotland for any problem, question or just a listening ear which is summed up by our motto:
‘No question too big, no problem too small, no need to be alone’.
Age Scotland Helpline has been a trusted source of information for many years and calls have always been quite varied and unpredictable. We receive calls on subjects as diverse as care, housing, heating, benefits and everything else besides (‘How do I get my letter from the Queen when I turn 100?’, ‘I’m struggling to hear my phone ringing, what can I do?’) but with the addition of Silver Line we have an extra dimension to our service. Many of our calls this week have been from people wanting to chat, wanting to sign up to be a Silver Line volunteer, to have a Silver Line friend or just wanting to pass on their thoughts about the service.
We’ve had some great feedback on how excited people are that the friend service is available and how pleased they are that they can ring 24 hours to speak to someone. We have still received our usual mix of calls about care, housing, benefits and older people’s rights, but we’ve also had people feeling lonely or isolated, or just wanting to get something off their chest.
It’s been a busy week for the Helpline and we’re looking forward to it carrying on as Silver Line becomes more well-known and grows from strength to strength.