A LEADING home help company has pledged to help raise awareness of a new telephone helpline for lonely older people.

Bournemouth-based Domestic Angels is supporting the Silver Line – a free 24-hours a day telephone helpline service launched by journalist and campaigner Esther Rantzen.

The befriending service aims to combat loneliness and to give older people a point of contact where they can access information about other organisations.

Samantha Acton, pictured right, who set up Domestic Angels 12 years ago, said they would be raising awareness of the Silver Line amongst their clients, families and community outreach groups.

“We see elderly folk all the time who are lonely and isolated,” she said. “Loneliness isn’t just a Christmas phenomenon, it’s year round.

“What Esther is doing addresses these issues which in turn can improve the physical, mental and emotional well being of individuals.

“In our experience of dealing with elderly people, there seems to be a stigma attached to contacting some organisations.

“Esther is avoiding the language of the care agencies and doesn’t talk down to people. “Older people have a lifetime of experience and knowledge that is often forgotten.

“We all need a smile and a chat from time to time and the Angels have the great privilege of helping some very vulnerable members of our society.”

The Silver Line telephone number is 08004 708090.