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No one should be lonely this Christmas

20 December 2019

Christmas can mean different things to different people. It can be the highlight of someone’s year, bringing with it the joys of family, friends and celebration. As great as the Christmas period can be, for some people it’s a time of the year when they feel most alone. We don’t want anyone to feel lonely this Christmas, so we’ve put together a list of organisations you can access and things to do that can help.

According to Age UK, over half a million older people in the UK expect to feel lonely this Christmas, and four in five of those have not reached out for any help to reduce their feelings of loneliness. If you know anyone who can benefit from the services we’ve listed below, or who are feeling lonely this Christmas, please share the information with them.

Organisations and activities

Age UK

Age UK is one of the leading organisations working with older people. They run a variety of activities that anyone can take part in.

For specific details of activities in London you should check your local London Age UK branch at www.ageuk.org.uk, but some of the options available include:

  • 10 to 3 clubs – Weekly club where you can enjoy a hot lunch and socialise with other people.
  • Lunch Clubs – Weekly and monthly clubs that give you the opportunity to meet with and speak to other people.

They can also arrange transport to and from the local venue.

The Hertfordshire branch of Age UK have:

A Men in Sheds project - held twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 10am to 12 noon. It gives men the chance to practice traditional skills

The C Club – held every Saturday from 2.30pm until 4.30pm and includes live entertainment such as quizzes, games, singalongs and tea and cake. Both of these activities take place at the Clitheroe Centre in South Oxhey.

Re-engage

Re-engage is a charity that holds events throughout the year for people over the age of 75 living on their own the opportunity to have a cup of tea and a chat as part of a Re-engage Group. Members of the groups don’t have to worry about hosting events as this is done by volunteers, who also pick members up and drive them to and from events. There are groups operating across London and Hertfordshire, and there’s an interactive map you can look at to see where your closest group is. To find out more information visit www.reengage.org.uk.

Carol services

Christmas carol services are another great way for anyone to feel connected to others in a seasonal setting. London has a huge range of carol events to attend which you can find on the Visit London website at, www.visitlondonn.com. There is also a range of services available in Hertfordshire which you can find on the Hertfordshire Life website at www.hertfordshirelife.co.uk. We suggest bringing a neighbour along to a Christmas Carol service as a great way to provide someone, who may not have any company this Christmas, with a truly meaningful shared experience.

Want to help someone feel less lonely this festive season?

No one needs to spend this Christmas completely alone. Even the briefest of interactions can change someone’s experience of this time of year, and a quick knock on a neighbour’s door could make all the difference. Everything that’s good about Network Homes communities relies on bonds between people. We hope everyone gets to experience that this Christmas.

Loneliness and isolation do not discriminate by age, religion, culture or time of year so if you, or anyone you know, would like to help why not consider supporting others by becoming a volunteer?

Here are some ways you can get started:

Alternatively contact us to see how you can support other residents by volunteering at Network Homes.