Jersey Age Concern head says elderly helpline 'confusing'

Ester Rantzen Mrs Rantzen is launching Silver Line in the island

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The head of Age Concern in Jersey says a new helpline for older people in the island is confusing and unnecessary.

Television presenter Esther Rantzen is launching Silver Line in Jersey to tackle loneliness.

Daphne Minihane from Age Concern likes the concept but thinks there is not room for a UK charity in Jersey.

Mrs Rantzen said islanders would want to use a helpline based in England so they can speak to someone without embarrassment.

The new service will offer friendship, information and advice, but Mrs Minihane says all of those things are already widely available.

"It is confusing for them and to duplicate and bring another charity into the island, which is already overloaded with charities, is wrong," she said.

"I can see Silver Line being valuable in the UK where older people are living in remote areas. But here we are only about 10 minutes away from giving people help who need it."

According to the 2011 Jersey census there were about 17,000 people over retirement age in the island.

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

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