STAFF at a Bury building society are going out of their way to tackle loneliness among older people.

Yorkshire Building Society colleagues from the branch on The Rock have urged older residents not to suffer in silence.

Throughout July, the team will be handing out information leaflets to customers to highlight the services of its partner charity The Silver Line, who provide a free and confidential 24/7 helpline.

Some of the staff who work in Bury are part of the Silver Line network, who make weekly calls to older people who have asked for help.

The charity has received a surge in the number of callers during the hot weather, with more than 1,800 calls in 24 hours.

James Phillips, manager of the Bury branch, said: “We're proud to be working in partnership with The Silver Line to raise awareness of the issues faced by older people in our community, some of who feel very lonely and isolated.

"As people get older they can find it increasingly hard to get out and meet new friends while at the same time having to cope with upheavals such as bereavement and ill-health. Through our partnership with The Silver Line we can offer those affected practical help through the telephone befriending scheme.

“The feedback we get from both colleagues who volunteer their time as Silver Line Friends and beneficiaries of the scheme is amazing. That’s why we’re urging people not to suffer in silence because help is only a phone call away."

The Silver Line, launched by Dame Esther Rantzen in 2013, operates the UK’s only free and confidential 24/7 helpline to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people aged 55 and over.

The charity also signposts callers to support services and addresses issues such as abuse and neglect.

Sophie Andrews, chief executive of The Silver Line, said: "The great summer getaway often means older people are left ‘home alone’ as family, friends and neighbours leave town, while their own memories of holidays in happier times compounds their feelings of loneliness and isolation.

“In addition, the current spate of extremely hot weather has led to a surge in the number of callers to our 24/7 helpline as older people feel trapped in their homes – indeed July 2 was our busiest day ever since launch with 1,875 calls in 24 hours.”

In addition to its helpline, the charity runs volunteer-led telephone and letter-writing friendship schemes.

Yorkshire Building Society’s volunteering scheme allows each employee up to 31 hours' paid leave a year to help out a good cause of their choice.

To contact the Silver Line Helpline call 0800 470 8090.