The film below, called “The Anniversary” captures the distress of loneliness. The Silver Line charity released the film to highlight the nation’s loneliness epidemic amongst older people.
Film director, Phil Beastall, whose short film, ‘Love is a Gift’, went viral last Christmas, produced the film. Last year, The Silver Line’s Director of Income was one of the many people to find Beastall’s film moving. Nina Gopal contacted him to ask if he would produce a film for the charity and the rest is history.
The Silver Line film shows a lady alone in her home. She is recalling an anniversary gift bought for her by her husband. She then sits at a desk from which she removes a framed photograph of her husband. Then she removes a photograph album dedicated to their wedding anniversaries. At midnight she lights a candle and then looks through the album, ending at an empty page.. The title of this page is ‘50th anniversary – Renewing our vows’. She speaks the only words of the film through her tears: “Happy Anniversary my darling.”
Gopal said, “After crying my way through Phil’s film I thought that we should approach him to create a film for us and he agreed which was fantastic.
“Our brief was to create a film that portrayed loneliness and the sense of loss. We wanted to show what it’s like to miss someone so much that it hurts. I have to say that he’s done a great job. It really is hard to hold back the tears when I watch it.”
The release of the film in the run up to Christmas should maximise its fundraising potential with the charity hoping to bring in much-needed donations.
The Silver Line Founder, Dame Esther Rantzen, has spoken about loneliness on the release of the film, “I always remember the Queen’s quote when she went to New York to commemorate those lost in 9/11. She said ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’. Loneliness is also often the price we pay for loss. Loss sometimes of sight, or hearing, or a job, but very often, as in my case, and in this film, the loss of a loving partner.
“I find this film so moving that it brings tears to my eyes, because I speak to so many Silver Line callers who think about their lost loved ones every day, and for whom Christmas is the loneliest time of their year.”
Loneliness After Bereavement
Speaking about the film, Beastall said:
“I love the challenge of making a film that speaks to people despite there being few words – in the case of Silver Line’s film it’s four words. The film is all about this lady’s story and how she came to be lighting a candle on her wedding anniversary. Sad though it is, we needed to convey the sense of despair some people are experiencing. The Silver Line is there to listen to these people and through the film I know they will raise funds and awareness of the charity too.”
The Silver Line provides support for older people living with loneliness and social isolation. More than 2.5 million calls have gone through the helpline, since 2013 and close to 1,500 people per day reach out to the helpline.
Just £10 pays for two calls from a lonely older person to The Silver Line. You can donate £10 right now by texting ALONE to 70660 (standard network charges apply). Donations can also be made via the charity’s website www.thesilverline.org.uk/donate.
About The Silver Line
The Silver Line (0800 4 70 80 90) is the only free, national, confidential helpline open every day and night, offering information, friendship and advice to older people.
Donations pay for the cost of calls to the helpline, and The Silver Line’s other friendship services.
68% of callers contact the helpline because they are lonely or isolated, 90% live alone, and 54% say they have no one else to speak to.
The Silver Line has now joined forces with Age UK, becoming a subsidiary of Age UK.
There are around 1.2 million chronically lonely older people across the UK. That number will rise to 2 million by 2026.
More details on The Silver Line website: www.thesilverline.org.uk