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The Christmas spirit is alive and well across the UK's Care Homes!

Published on 14th December 2017

Christmas is a time for family gatherings and toasting the year that has just been. Feelings of sadness and loneliness are especially heightened for people who live in isolation with limited contact with the outside world. To help ease the feelings of loneliness here are a few things that care providers are doing.

Abbeyfield House #FeelTheWarmth

For the eighth year running, Abbeyfield Society has opened their doors to provide overnight stays, meals and companionship for those who may have otherwise been alone over the festive period.

Ron Hoverd, former RAF Corporal was devastated when he lost his beloved wife of 45 years, Mary. In a tribute to his wife Ron said:

“I couldn’t have had a better woman which made losing her so difficult. I watched her die, which was heart-breaking. After the funeral I reached rock bottom and was struggling to get by. I was so lonely. Everything was so quiet.

There’s nothing worse than being on your own at Christmas. You know you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself, but you’re sat there by yourself, wishing the day would end.”

Age UK put Ron in touch with Abbeyfield House in Cowes and it means the world to him.

Abbeyfield’s CEO, David McCullough commented: on Abbeyfield’s ‘Companionship at Christmas’ campaign:

“Abbeyfield was founded over 60 years ago in response to the crippling loneliness endured by the forgotten generation of older people. That ethos continues today with campaigns such as Companionship at Christmas as Abbeyfield continues to enrich the lives of older people at Christmas.

In order for Abbeyfield to share their homes with people at Christmas they rely on charitable donations and volunteers. If you would like to donate then you can do so here.

Community Christmas

The story of Community Christmas shows the power of one person to make a huge difference to the lives of many. In 2007, a local mini-bus driver, Caroline Billington drove a group of old ladies to a Christmas Day lunch. As she drove the ladies home she was struck by how much enjoyment the ladies had got out of the day and how happy there were to have met each other.

The following year Caroline volunteered for the whole of Christmas Day, then she took on the organisation of the lunch before launching Community Christmas in 2011. One event has grown into over 500 through Caroline’s leadership including 60 Bupa homes opening their doors over the festive period offering meals and respite stays.

Community Christmas is not just about Christmas, it helps people to build links with other people and groups in their community which lasts for the entire year. One elderly lady in Manchester reached out to Community Christmas as she was so desperate not to spend another Christmas alone, after her first Community Christmas she had this to say:

“I can’t believe the effort people went to look after me. Never again will I have to dread Christmas and now I have a regular Friday club to look forward to.”

To get involved with Community Christmas you can contact the team here.

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