Support the elderly through loneliness this Christmas in Greater Manchester

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FOLLOWING Age UK’s recent campaign; churches, charities and organisations across Greater Manchester are holding events to support elderly people who will be alone this Christmas.

The current campaign from Age UK raises awareness of the 1.4 million elderly people who will experience loneliness at Christmas and throughout the rest of the year.

Age UK’s campaign video titled ‘Just Another Day’ follows the life of an elderly man, showing what it’s like to spend every day alone.

Age UK aids people to provide donations which will go towards caring for the elderly, such as providing weekly friendship calls to a lonely older person.

You can find out how lonely your neighbourhood is, and donate to Age UK here.

Various organisations and charities across Greater Manchester are holding free events to keep the elderly company during Christmas, and across the year.

Community Christmas 

With Community Christmas, communities are encouraged to provide companionship to older people on Christmas Day.

This can be through holding events, joining up with others at a local pub or restaurant, visiting the elderly for tea and cake or organising outings in order to provide company to the elderly people.

You can find a number of events happening around Greater Manchester as part of Community Christmas below:

Caroline Billington, founder of Community Christmas, said: “Christmas is a time when a lot of people are focused on being with friends and family and for those who don’t have friends and family near by, it will be a time where they are particularly aware of their isolation and loneliness.

“Our vision is that no older person in the UK should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be”

Caroline said: “Without funding, we can’t help make those connections to encourage people to take action.”

You can donate to Community Christmas here.

The Church of the Resurrection & St Barnabas, Manchester

The Church are serving a free Traditional Christmas Dinner on Christmas day in their community café. This event is for the elderly and others, who may otherwise suffer from loneliness at Christmas.

The Christmas Dinner which took place last year at The Church of the Resurrection & St Barnabas, in Manchester.

Reverend Katy Cunliffe said: “This is the third year that we are holding this event at our church.

“Christmas is a time when we should get together with others and for anyone who is left out of that, who doesn’t wish to be, it’s very sad.”

Listen to Katy talk about the heart-warming event taking place at her church this Christmas Day, below:

Contact the Elderly – Manchester group

Contact the Elderly say they are “the only national charity solely focusing on tackling loneliness and isolation among our rapidly ageing population, through face to face contact.”

Supported by volunteers, the charity organises free monthly tea parties on a Sunday afternoon for small groups of older people.

The organisation has a group in Manchester who meet monthly and provide elderly people with an afternoon of “fun, friendship, tea and cake!”

Contact the Elderly provide monthly tea parties in Manchester for older people

Emma Wellwood, from Contact the Elderly, said: “We like to encourage volunteering all year round, rather than just at Christmas.”

As a result of Contact the Elderly, 73% of guests say they feel less lonely.

If you want to get involved, visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk/become-a-volunteer to register to become a volunteer in your local area.

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