Community Christmas is looking for a series of corporate partners who share the vision that ‘no elderly person in the UK should be on their own on Christmas Day unless they want to be’. This might sound like a relatively obvious statement and one which we would all agree with. However, the reality is that research suggests that almost a quarter of a million people spent Christmas alone last year.
Determined to make a difference Community Christmas, an organisation which has, over the past few years, concentrated its efforts in the South has decided to expand to a national basis.
Community Christmas, which launched its new vision 6 months before Christmas on June 25th, has been gathering momentum as more people commit to the cause. Neighbourhood Watch has adopted Community Christmas as a national partner and strong links are being forged with Contact the Elderly and other national groups.
As with most new ventures Community Christmas has limited resources at its disposal. To help get Community Christmas off the ground and make a real difference this Christmas founding partners are being sought who would be willing to donate to the cause.
Speaking about the vision, Community Christmas founder Caroline Billington said: “Everyone I speak to about our objectives agrees that it seems inconceivable that so many elderly and often vulnerable people are spending Christmas alone. Yet there are lonely people in every street in every town and village across the UK.”
Community Christmas will become the go-to place on line for Christmas Day events. The website will help anyone concerned about an elderly person needing company on Christmas Day find out about events in their area. The events publicised will be a combination of Community Christmas events and those run by other organisations. Community Christmas will also provide support for those wishing to run their own event or donate some of their time or money to ensuring those events are possible. By putting the people who make it happen together with those who desperately need this resource we can make a real change.
Despite the name, Community Christmas is about more than just Christmas Day. That is just the beginning. Caroline explains: “Christmas is the initial focus because as part of our research we identified that many of the organisations who work tirelessly with elderly people throughout the year often take a well-deserved break at Christmas. Christmas provides an opportunity to reach out to the elderly who need support. This contact in turn provides an opportunity to identify their other health and well-being needs so that they can be put in touch with other agencies who can provide support and companionship during the rest of the year. Christmas is just the start of our legacy.”