Charity's urgent appeal to support older people who face a lonely Christmas

Age UK Somerset campaign man looking lonely

Age UK Somerset is appealing for donations so it can support more people over Christmas. - Credit: Age UK

A charity which helps people over 60 is appealing for donations to enable it to support those who will be on their own this Christmas in North Somerset. 

More than half of the older population in the area are concerned they will not see family and friends this Christmas. 

Pandemic restrictions have also left many feeling more isolated than ever and Age UK Somerset is appealing for donations so it can provide practical and emotional support to more people in need this winter. 

Phil Dolan, chief executive at Age UK Somerset said: "This seems set to be a festive period like we have never experienced before, and not one of us would want to navigate on our own.  

“At the best of times, Christmas can be bitter-sweet for many older people, but this year they are going to need our support even more than usual.” 

More than 200,000 older people in the South West are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas, according to Age UK’s new research for its No one should have no one campaign. 

The charity has also found many older people have lost confidence in doing day-to-day activities following the lockdowns, though many also said they have been supported by neighbours and members of the community during the pandemic. 

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For many older people, Age UK Somerset will be their lifeline this winter, and the charity is calling for donations to help fund its work to reduce loneliness such as its Friendly Phone Calls service. 

Mr Dolan said: “At Age UK Somerset we were thrilled to hear older people paying tribute to all the friends, neighbours - and strangers - who had reached out to offer them help especially during the first wave, but the fact is we know that some older people missed out.  

“We want to be there for anyone who finds themselves in that position this winter, but we can only do it with the public's support, so please do donate to our campaign this year if you can." 

To support the appeal, log on to https://virginmoneygiving.com/fund/winterlonelinesscampaign or call 01823 345610 and leave a message. 

Older people and their families or friends who need support, can call Age UK Somerset on 01823 345610 or log on to www.ageuksomersetcoronavirus.org.uk 

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