Age UK West Cumbria Launch Christmas Campaign

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for many older members of the community Christmas it can also be the loneliest.

Decorating the tree, pouring a sherry or pulling a cracker, it’s these little moments and having someone to share them with that makes this time of year so special. But for many people in west Cumbria, the festive season only serves to intensify their loneliness and isolation. Age UK West Cumbria have rolled out a new campaign to make sure “no one has no one” this Christmas.

Across the UK more than one million older people say that can go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. Meanwhile, around 1.4m older people find their days repetitive and admit Christmas – a time which should be filled with joy and happiness – passes them by. The national No One Should Have No One Campaign aims to highlight the issue of loneliness in later life.

The Age UK Community Connections project provides vital companionship through a befriending telephone call or home visit. It encourages isolated older people to attend clubs and groups, with the aim of helping them to stay connected with the community. Age UK West Cumbria are looking for volunteers to help them provide companionship and support for all local older people, particularly over the festive period.

Lucy Carver, from Age UK West Cumbria said: “We are here to help isolation and the loneliness in west Cumbria, we offer support to people who are feeling lonely or isolated and help to boost their confidence.

“Giving your time can make a huge difference to an older person’s life.”

Volunteers provide friendship and companionship, they listen, chat, reminisce and link service users to clubs and groups in their area. But it is also an opportunity for the volunteers themselves to meet new people and make new friends.

Lucy added: “Take time as often as you can to have a chat and connect with someone you know that may otherwise not speak to anyone during their day. Together we can tackle loneliness.”

The Community Connections project is funded by The Big Lottery Fund, Copeland Community Fund, Henry Smith charity and Copeland Borough Council.

For more information on how to get involved contact the local helpline on 08443 843 843 or visit www.ageukwestcumbria.org.uk

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