Advent calendar – 18 December: A cup of tea?
It’s December. Many of us are rushing around trying to get everything ready for the 25th. We’re looking forward to being with family and friends over the festive period. However, for some people, this is the time of year that they dread most. Possibly they are estranged from family. Maybe they are coping with bereavement. Perhaps the facilities and support agencies they relied on during the year are closed over Christmas and New Year.
It is probably too late now to put much in place to help those who will be on their own. But if you do know someone who you suspect might be feeling lonely, why not give them a call or pop around and suggest a cup of tea?
And it isn’t too late to start thinking about what you and your organisation can do to tackle loneliness in 2019. Loneliness Awareness Week will be running from 17 to 21 June. We would love to promote any events or activities that you have planned for this week. We’ll be in touch to remind you again in the spring.
Here are examples of three “small steps” others have organised:
- FirstBite Winchester is inviting people to attend a community lunch on the 25th.
- In Norfolk, a group of care homes is offering free xmas lunches to anyone who wants to join in. The homes are organising transportation.
- From noon to 2.30 pm on Christmas Day volunteers from the congregation of a Church in Swansea will be providing free dinner, entertainment and transport. Everyone is welcome regardless of age.
And you may have already seen that Tesco is selling a “twosie” Christmas jumper this year. All profits are going to CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably). The idea behind the jumper is to encourage men to support each other by giving the gift of friendship. CALM has a helpline for men who are feeling down, have hit a brick wall, need to talk or want to find out where they can get further information and support.
So what is my New Year resolution? To spend more time with two elderly relations who both live alone. Whenever I visit them they are always so pleased to see me. I also get just as much pleasure out of our conversations as they seem to!
Blog by Jo Dixon, Senior Engagement Officer
Images: By Zach Bogart, US
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