Sussex has been named a ‘loneliness hotspot’ after a recent study showed nearly 25,00 calls were made to a charity helpline last year in East and West Sussex alone.
Statistics from the charity The Silver Line Helpline suggest that there is a rise of lonely elderly people after the helpline received more than one million phone calls since its launch in 2013. Data from the charity shows that most calls take place during the night and the weekends when old people are feeling the most alone. The statistics come a year after the release of last year’s John Lewis Christmas advert where the theme was a lonely elderly man on the moon, causing the public to consider the elderly at Christmas time.
Terry Steeples owner of Hastings local Friends of Old People says that the café encourages the elderly to bond and make friends. He says “initially when they came in they were quite reserved and dint want to talk but people started talking together and they have a nice mix”.
Since Friends of Old People has opened, many elderly people have sparked friendships over cups of tea, allowing them to make friends and defeat loneliness.