Where will you be on Christmas Day? With 3 months to go most people probably haven’t given Christmas more than a passing thought. However, for those who are likely to be spending Christmas alone the run up to the festive season can be filled with anxiety and dread.
Motivated by the fact that an estimated 230,000 older people spent Christmas alone last year Caroline Billington has set up Community Christmas with the vision that ‘no elderly person in the UK should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be’. ‘Being alone on Christmas Day is especially hard,’ Caroline explains. ‘The media constantly promotes Christmas as a time to spend with family and friends, a time for fun and merriment. So for those with family either far away or passed on, loneliness becomes especially intense. Additionally, lunch clubs and even the local café will be closed so there is nowhere to go.”
As the 3 month countdown begins Community Christmas is asking individuals and businesses if they would be willing to make a donation to Community Christmas so, together, we can all achieve the vision. Not only will the individual donations make a significant difference to elderly people at Christmas they will also be increased through an innovative scheme called ‘Find Me a Grant’ run by Greenham Common Trust. The Trust will match the donations received thereby doubling the value of the donation. Also, where appropriate Gift Aid will add another 25 per cent to the value of the donation turning £10 into £25 for Community Christmas. There is no administrative fee charged for this service so 100 per cent of the donation goes to Community Christmas.
Caroline continues: “We recognise that everyone is feeling the pinch and that most people are having to make the pennies and pounds go further. However, if this cause resonates with you and you think you could make a donation, even a small amount, it will go a long way to helping us reduce the number of elderly people who spend Christmas Day alone.”
Those who wish to make a donation can do so by visiting:
If you know of a local event, or are interested in setting up one up, in the West Berkshire area then contact Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find out more information by visiting the Community Christmas website www.communitychristmas.org.uk