The advent calendars are out, the cards have been sent and we are on the countdown to Christmas. But for some people, as we know, it can be a tough time of year. An amazing organisation, Community Christmas, is dedicated to ensuring that no elderly person in the UK should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be.
Community Christmas was founded in 2011 by Caroline Billington, a volunteer community transport driver. What started as the provision of a Christmas Lunch in one location has now grown to over 300 Community Christmas events last year.
Events around the Country
Events range from pubs setting aside a table for those booking to have Christmas lunch alone to a “house party” at a Scottish hotel, activities in community halls and care homes opening their doors to the public over the Christmas period.
Communities are encouraged to provide companionship to older people on Christmas Day by running a community Christmas Lunch event. This could be joining up with others at a local pub or restaurant, popping round for tea and cake, perhaps organizing a film viewing or anything else that can be enjoyed by all those that take part. This should be a chance to meet up with old friends and make new friends, creating bonds in the community that last well beyond the single day.
How to find an event
The Community Christmas website lists events across the country. To find an event near you, click the link … http://communitychristmas.org.uk/map.
Benefits for all
The organisation has found that the scheme also benefits those who volunteer to help at the events. As one volunteer pointed out, it is not just the elderly who can be lonely at Christmas.
And knowing that an older friend or relative will not be alone on Christmas Day is a great relief for family members who are unable to visit on the day itself.
We wish Community Christmas and all involved with it a very Happy Christmas!