Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen to pilot IOM helpline

Ester Rantzen
Image caption Mrs Rantzen founded Childline in 1986

ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen is hoping to launch a pilot for a new helpline service for the elderly in the Isle of Man in November.

The charity will provide a 24-hour help service in the same way which ChildLine works for young people.

Mrs Rantzan said: "I really believe the service will improve the quality of people's lives."

She founded ChildLine in 1986, a charity which helps children deal with issues including abuse and bullying.

The new service will offer help and advice as well as providing links to local charities and social care options.

In the 2011 census, 17,847 people of retirement age or over were living in the island.

The 72-year-old mother-of-four said: "We hope we will leave a legacy and if nothing else draw attention to the fact that older people are a really important resource.

"We need to look after out for our older people and that they need to feel that we care about them."

Mrs Rantzen said she had received a "tremendously warm response from the government and local charities."

"It is quite clear that it is an island of contrasts. You do get affluence but alongside it there are people who are struggling a bit financially.

"Older people whose family have grown up and moved away or people who have come to retire and struggle to make new friends.

"We found with ChildLine that people want to talk in confidence and I really think this service can help people."

The Silver Line pilot is expected to run for three months before it is launched nationally throughout the UK.

Mrs Rantzen will be spending time with several charities while on the island.

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