As super rich retailers splurge millions on festive ad campaigns, people in Sheffield are asked to take simple steps to help end loneliness this Christmas.
Tens of thousands of people aged over 65 in the city hear from family or friends less than once a week, claims the Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care. Television is often their only friend- even on Christmas Day.
A few pounds or hours of time given to the charity can make a huge difference, supporting its work to end isolation in the city.
Brian Gannon is among the charity’s longest serving volunteers who has befriended dozens of older people. Brian, 85, says his work with the charity has turned a long retirement into a burning ambition to end loneliness.
He said: “I visit two gentlemen. One, Frederick, has no family or friends and there are days when he doesn’t see anyone at all. I used to visit a lady who told me my visits were a reason for her to keep going. The loneliness she was feeling made her so unhappy that she wanted to take her own life.”
Mark Storey, CEO at SCCCC, said: “Christmas is a time of togetherness and love. But imagine if you had no one and had to face the festive season alone with only television for company. Not only that, but imagine you weren’t mobile enough to get to the shops and buy food. Please remember the elderly. If you have an elderly neighbour, check on them to see if they need anything. It could make their Christmas.”
For more information about the charity visit www.scccc.co.uk or call 0114 2505293.