Lonely this Christmas...

December 20, 2011, 10:50 AM GMT+0

Will you invite a lonely elderly neighbour round this Xmas? Campaign urges people to help neighbours who might be alone this Christmas as poll finds sense of responsibility low

The majority of Britons say they don't feel they need to take responsibility for neighbours who might be alone over the holiday period, our poll has found, prompting the Campaign to End Loneliness to call on the public to reach out to older neighbours or family who might be isolated or lonely over Christmas.

  • 75% of 2,000 British adults thought they had no responsibility to keep in touch with older neighbours who might be lonely, found our survey for the charity Independent Age

Laura Ferguson, Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness said:

'Keeping in touch with older neighbours and family could help them overcome the extra emotional pressures of Christmas. Memories of past friends and Christmases can make the festive season particularly painful for older people who are isolated and lonely.

Isolation has been linked to health problems and is an indicator of early death ‒ but we can all do something about it. Simply sending a Christmas card or giving a gift to an older neighbour or family member might help lift them out of their isolation and loneliness. We can all take this one small step to connect with someone who might not receive many Christmas cards or gifts'.

There are more things people can do to help reduce loneliness felt by older people: many of the Campaign’s partner organisations are working hard this Christmas across the country to ensure that older people can receive the support they need to not be lonely. This can be as simple as donating to a Christmas lunch run by Friends of the Elderly or volunteering to give lifts to a carol concert run by a project like the Link Visiting Scheme in Wokingham.

For more information and examples of groups across the country working to combat loneliness, please visit The Campaign to End Loneliness website here.

See the survey details and full results here