Friends of the Elderly is calling upon people to hold local Christmas activities so no older person will be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be. As official partners of Community Christmas for 2015, national charity Friends of the Elderly hopes that more people than ever will get involved as around 500,000* older people in the UK are predicted to spend Christmas Day alone.
Last year there were 242 Christmas Day activities listed on the Community Christmas website, which saw a number of older people spending Christmas Day together enjoying one another’s company. However, research by Friends of the Elderly shows that 35% of all older people are affected by loneliness – meaning that many more activities are needed to ensure these people aren’t alone on Christmas Day. As a response to this, Friends of the Elderly and Community Christmas are calling for volunteers to give the gift of time by organising a Christmas Day activity for older people in their communities and listing the event on the Community Christmas website.
Steve Allen, Chief Executive at Friends of the Elderly, said: “Friends of the Elderly is delighted to be working with Community Christmas this year to support older people facing Christmas alone. We know that loneliness can have a devastating impact on older people’s lives and those we work with tell us that becoming isolated from a community they were once part of can be especially difficult. That’s why we’re calling on individuals, organisations and businesses to put on activities on Christmas Day to bring together older people in their community who don’t want to be alone.”