This year it is estimated more than 3 million older people will spend Christmas day alone and that nearly a quarter of them say it brings back painful memories of loved ones they have lost.

We are very conscious this time of year can sometimes exaggerate the feelings of isolation and loneliness often associated with illness, loss of independence or bereavement. Of course, these feelings don’t just happen at Christmas and can be something people live with all year round. That’s why we have received funding from the Big Lottery to set up our Compassionate Communities project.  The Compassionate Communities Team works to connect people with their neighbours and wider communities. Knowing your neighbours can have all sorts of positive effects on your health, wellbeing and community safety. 

In our own communities we sometimes don’t know the names of those living closest to us. This could be for many reasons such as being new to the area, struggling to get out of the house or just being a very busy person with work and family commitments. This December, our Compassionate Communities Team are encouraging you to make a connection with your neighbours. Maybe hand deliver a Christmas card or invite a neighbour in for a tasty festive treat. Sometimes the smallest of gestures can make a whole lot of difference and maybe this year your kindness will be the best gift ever given. 

The Compassionate Communities Team will be pro-actively developing and supporting people to become involved and bring local people together, making positive impacts on peoples’ lives