https://socialcare.blog.gov.uk/2014/12/12/defeating-loneliness-this-christmas/

Defeating loneliness this Christmas

Have you seen the new BBC poll which draws attention once again to the plight of the lonely at Christmas?

2,000 adults were surveyed and the findings revealed '7 percent of all adults and 10 percent of those aged over 65 expect to spend Christmas mostly on their own.'

christmas treeOf course, loneliness is an issue for many - often older - people throughout the year, not just Christmas. Indeed, the organisers of World Suicide Prevention Day 2014 made it a central theme.

To mark that day, the Chief Social Worker for Adults Lyn Romeo also emphasised the need for community interventions and activities to help lonely people establish social connections. It's no surprise that companionship can help alleviate depression and symptoms of mental illness.

Are you involved in community based projects or services reaching out to the lonely and vulnerable in your communities this Christmas?

Use the comment function at the bottom of this post to let us know what you're doing and how you're doing it. Or if you'd like to write your very own guest blog, do get in touch with me directly to discuss ideas: mark.osterloh@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

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7 comments

  1. Comment by Diane posted on

    Some people choose to be alone at Christmas but for those who seem to have no option the situation might have been created by the lack of buses that would otherwise allow them to reach their friends. No everyone has the use of a car.
    Strange how people tend not to live near those they like the most.

  2. Comment by Patricia Foxworthy posted on

    Age 71, without any relatives, and suffering from Lupus which affects severel parts of my body I 've no alternative but to spend Christmas on my own but not from choice.

  3. Comment by Nicola Jones posted on

    I work with vulnerable people and we have a activity centre at the hospital where I work also we have a garden plot and chickens. They can do small jobs around the hospital like their own laundry, personal care, their rooms etc they get an allowance each week to just giving them an incentive to work towards. Those with no family feel part of the family within the hospital so we hope they do not feel lonely. We still have boundaries which are important and they respect that but we try our best and work to a high standard to care and protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse out in the community where stigma still remains a problem makes our job harder to reassure service users its a hard time for them.
    People need to educate themselves and not just follow everyone else who is ignorant to vulnerable people it can be the elderly, the young, dementia, a learning disability, physical handicap or depression, mental health illness. But they are still a person who still deserve a right to be treated with respect and dignity. They still have a voice verbal or non verbal.
    Please help a vulnerable person this Christmas or any time it gives you great pleasure and warmth inside to know you care. Spread the word and let's get rid of this stigma please.

  4. Comment by David Hogarth - Co-ordinator posted on

    Neighbourcare St John's Wood & Maida Vale is again holding its Christmas Day lunch in the local Danubius Hotel for over 100 older people . During the rest of the year, we use our minibus to do 4-5 outings a week for older people - many of whom are quite lonely. See more at http://www.neighbourcaresjwmv.org.uk or email us on info@neighbourcaresjwmv.org.uk.

  5. Comment by Lynne Edwards posted on

    Richmond Fellowship, supported accommodation will be preparing a lovely Christmas day lunch with service users & inviting those from other local projects to attend so no one on their own who doesn't wish to be. Also arranging transport so no one need miss out.

  6. Comment by Sassaka posted on

    OurCamden is a Membership opportunity our mission is to help reduce social isolation by offering a calendar of events, workshops and opportunities to save money with local businesses. We now have over 500 Members ranging from 40-85+. Over the next few weeks our Members will be meeting for a mulled wine & mince pies in a local pub, trying Archery on Sunday afternoon and meeting for a Twixmas Brunch (with a 50% discount on food & drink) while gearing up for Nordic Walking and Jive classes in the New Year. We are a group of like minded individuals looking to connect, contribute and celebrate all that is great about our borough. If you are a Community organisation in Camden please get in touch we would love to spread the word about what you do via a Partners Calendar http://ourcamden.org/page-18057. If you have any queries as a group or individual: Email sassaka@ourcamden.org
    Check out the website for more information. http://www.ourcamden.org

  7. Comment by Angela Cairns posted on

    I work for Community Network and we run Telephone Communities, connecting up lonely & isolated older people all year round. At Christmas we all the people on our groups who we know are going to be alone. We have just launched an online peer support forum for adults at risk of or experiencing loneliness. http://bit.ly/1H2S05R