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Childline-style phone service for lonely pensioners

A trial telephone service for older people, based on the existing Childline service model for younger people set up by Esther Rantzen, may help the one million older people in Britain who say they are lonely.

About 5m say the television is their main source of entertainment and many have contact with friends or family less than once a week.

Susana Mendonca danced with pensioners Harry Melzack, Tom May and Astrid Austin at a weekly tea dance to found out what they get up to and what they think of The Silver Line phone service being piloted this Autumn in the Isle of Man.

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