Esther Rantzen congratulated the League of Jewish Women on its continuing welfare work at the league’s 70th anniversary tea, held at St John’s Wood Synagogue. Five women raised their hands when she asked: “How many people here today have been LJW members for longer than 50 years?”
The broadcaster also spoke about her work and family and her ChildLine charity — and her planned new charity, Silver Line, which will address issues concerning the elderly.
“I am getting a strange sort of deja vu,” she said. “Twenty-one years ago I was the keynote speaker at organisations talking about child abuse. Now I am being invited to speak about older people.”
ChildLine had helped more than 2.7 million children over the past 26 years. Silver Line would be an umbrella referral organisation offering a helpline and general information.
Asked about ageism, she said the swinging 60s had changed things. “Before the 60s elders had a respected place in society —my grandmother was definitely the matriarch of our family. The 60s saw the shift to the young.”