Older people and loneliness helplines
Helpline: 0800 678 1602
We believe that age needs respect. It needs kindness. Sometimes it needs help. Because there is strength in numbers, Age Concern and Help the Aged have joined forces to become Age UK – so that we can be here for everyone in later life. Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone through our information and advice, services, campaigns, products, training and research.
The Silver Line
Helpline: 0800 4 70 80 90
The Silver Line is the confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK open every day and night of the year. Our specially trained helpline staff offer information, friendship and advice, link callers to local groups and services, offer regular befriending calls and protect and support those who are suffering abuse and neglect. If callers would like to be put in touch with Silver Line Friends, they can receive a regular weekly friendship call or email. Or they may like to join a Silver Circle and take part in a regular group call on subjects that interest them.
RVS (Royal Voluntary Service)
General enquiries: 0330 555 0310
If you need support during coronavirus: 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm)
Royal Voluntary Service is a volunteer organisation that enriches the lives of older people and their families across Britain. We support older people by giving time and practical help to help them get the best from life. Our volunteers – ordinary men and women of all ages and ethnicities – love spending time with the older people. Through them, we want to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved whatever their age. We believe old age should be celebrated, and so we should: we’re 75 years old this year and still going strong. So, find out today what we can do for you or an older person in your family.
Find out how to volunteer in your local community and give your time to help others. Our mission is to bring people together to help solve society’s problems through voluntary and civic action. Whether it’s through volunteering or choosing a career for community benefit, we want to make it easy for people to connect, share, learn and grow and in doing so provide a world class service that is able to extend the capacity of civil society.
Independent Age (Advice and Support for Older Age)
Advice line: 0800 319 6789
Founded 150 years ago, we are an established voice for older people, providing the ‘ABC’ of advice, befriending and campaigning. Our free advice service offers unrivalled expertise on social care and welfare benefits, and particularly on complex issues such as social care funding. Our range of detailed and in depth guides and factsheets provide information on the most common issues faced by older people, their families and carers. Our Wise Guides provide practical, accessible advice and information for the over-65s on finances, staying independent and getting the most out of later life and our befriending and practical support services provide crucial companionship, comfort and security for as long as it's needed - if necessary, for life.
Reengage (Formerly Contact the Elderly)
Freephone: 0800 716543
We exist to provide social activities for older people at a time in their lives when their social circles are diminishing. This year, 8,500 older guests were part of over 900 regular social gatherings across the UK, supported by 14,000 volunteers. However, in response to the COVID-19 crisis we suspended these social gatherings and created a new telephone befriending service for older people called call companions.
As well as making sure that all those already receiving our support get a regular phone call throughout the lockdown, we are offering a call companion to anyone else of this generation who lives alone or in sheltered housing and feels lonely or isolated. We plan to make call companions a permanent addition to our work and will continue to run this new service alongside our social gatherings when things get back to normal.
British Red Cross – Connecting Communities
Support Line: 0300 456 1155 (Mon to Fri 9.30-5)
If you are feeling lonely, please know that you are not alone. The British Red Cross is here to help you. One in five people in the UK say they experience feelings of loneliness, and during the coronavirus pandemic many more of us felt anxious and isolated. We are working hard to make sure that no-one feels like they have nowhere to turn. If you are affected by loneliness or know someone who needs help, you can search for your local Red Cross service here.
U3A (University of the Third Age)
U3A is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment. The third age is a time after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and have time to pursue your interests or try something new. Our members draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other but there are no qualifications to pass – it is just for pleasure. It's all voluntary; a typical U3A will be home to many activity groups covering hundreds of different subjects - from art to zoology and everything in between.
Campaign to End Loneliness
We help people to maintain and create personal connections in their later life. We draw on research and inspiration from across the country to offer information and ideas to both individuals and those working with older people. We deliver projects and campaigns with a range of other organisations. Together, we aim to end loneliness in older age.