Welcome to our 2016 Annual Review. I am delighted to let you know that we enjoyed a very successful year in which we hit a significant milestone, reaching over 1 million people with our support.
Much of this growth was thanks to investment in our online services, resulting in a surge of interest in our public information. We are really pleased that our online public information was viewed an incredible 2.3 million times last year – compared to just 300,000 times in 2015.
We also saw growth in other areas of our work. We almost doubled the number of calls to our Helpline and broadened the range of topics we advise on. We increased the number of calls and visits to lonely older people from our wonderful volunteers, and launched two short-term social connections pilots. We also launched our first grassroots campaign, attracting support from thousands of members of the public.
In addition to this, we opened new offices in Newcastle and Scotland. These are two areas with particularly high volumes of lonely older people and we hope the offices will help support our growth, act as a base for our volunteers and raise our profile locally.
We know we still have so much more to do. By 2030 there will be double the number of people aged 85 or older compared with 2010 and yet the current situation, for many, is bleak. Almost 2 million older people are living in poverty and too many are struggling to get the most basic support.
We can’t address these pressing issues without your generous support, so thank you from all of us. I look forward to sharing more successes with you again next year.