For many people, Christmas is a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones, sharing laughs, gifts and good food.
But with an estimated 35% of older people affected by loneliness in Cheshire West, the festive season may not be this merry for some.
National charity Friends of the Elderly is the official partner of Community Christmas and is encouraging people in Cheshire West to be a friend by organising activities so no older person will be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be.
There are lots of activities happening across the UK that are already listed on the Community Christmas website. There are currently no listings that we know about for Cheshire West but the good news is there is still time to get involved. There are plenty of activities that can be organised in a short space of time.
A Christmas Day activity can be whatever you think people in your community might enjoy . You could organise a Christmas lunch at a community centre, a Christmas film screening in a village hall, or a Christmas walk around your local park – whatever you do will make someone’s Christmas Day one to remember.
If you’re already organising an activity on Christmas Day, or know of something already happening in your area, then make sure you contact Community Christmas so it can be listed on the website making it easier for older people to know what’s happening in Cheshire West.
Community Christmas receives hundreds of calls each year from, and on behalf of, older people who are facing Christmas Day alone.
With a well populated map of activities on the day, the team at Community Christmas can help find them somewhere locally they can spend time with others and form lasting relationships.
Friends of the Elderly chief executive Steve Allen said: “We know that loneliness has a devastating impact on older people’s lives and that Christmas Day can be an especially difficult time for those with no family and friends around. With the kindness and dedication of activity organisers, more and more older people will have somewhere they can go on Christmas Day to enjoy the company of others. Together we can make this Christmas one to remember for thousands of older people across the country.”
Founder of Community Christmas Caroline Billington added: “It is so fantastic when we get a call from an older person and are able to find a place where they will be welcomed on Christmas Day – whether it is a care home opening their doors, tea and cake in a community hall, or a trip to the local pub. Not only does this mean these older people have somewhere to go on Christmas Day but quite often we hear of them forming friendships to last them the whole year through, which is what is it all about.”
For more information visit www.fote.org.uk/Christmas