Accident Advice Helpline’s patron, TV consumer champion, Esther Rantzen has been made a Dame for her services to children and older people.
The former BBC ‘That’s Life’ presenter – who set up ChildLine for young people in danger or distress, and The Silver Line for isolated pensioners – is delighted with her inclusion in the New Year’s honours list, but said she wished her husband were alive to see it.
Documentary maker Desmond Wilcox died in 2000 after being together for 30 years. She set up The Silver Line to help older people after she wrote about her loneliness when her husband passed away.
Esther says the honour is a fitting recognition for the inspirational work of all those who man the ChildLine and The Silver Line helplines.
Dame Esther, who is 74, says the honour is an excellent way to celebrate her 75th year and that her husband would have been full of excitement.
She said earlier this year how people who lose their partners can become lonely, isolated and lose their confidence and self-esteem.
Loneliness and isolation
Dame Esther says loneliness and isolation are two separate feelings and she believes they are inextricably linked with the loss of a loved one.
ChildLine has helped more than three million children and young people who have been abused and neglected since Dame Esther set it up in 1986. It became part of the NSPCC in 2006 before launching a website three years later. It was visited 2.4 million times in 2012-13.
She founded The Silver Line in November 2013 and more than 300,000 older people have sought help to find information and companionship since the charity began.
Dame Esther started campaigning for Accident Advice Helpline in August 2003 because she said it helps innocent victims fight for the compensation they deserve.
Personal injury claims
If you have been injured in an accident at work or a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, contact the solicitors at Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone to see if you could make a personal injury claim for compensation.
Date Published: December 31, 2014
Author: David Brown