A CHARITY is calling on community-minded individuals to step forward and help combat loneliness among older people.

Chester le Street-based Steven Gascoigne, who is the local area volunteer manager for The Silver Line, said: “I want to make sure that the older generation in County Durham don’t feel isolated and this will only be achieved if we raise awareness of the helpline.

“The Silver Line was founded by Dame Esther Rantzen to give older people a place to call offering information, advice and friendship. We receive hundreds of calls each day, many of them from people who feel totally isolated and alone.

“I want to make sure that older people know there is somewhere they can turn."

The Silver Line is the only free, national confidential telephone helpline for older people open round the clock all year. The charity needs County Durham-based community engagement volunteers willing to raise awareness of the work and services it provides. For more information visit https://www.thesilverline.org.uk.