Skip to content
Please donate

Age UK's star-studded Love Christmas carol concert

Published on 11 December 2015 11:30 AM

Celebrities get in the festive spirit at Age UK's Love Christmas carol concert

- Barbara Windsor MBE, Lesley Garrett CBE and Penny Smith help raise vital funds -


Age UK's star-studded ‘Love Christmas' carol concert, held at St Marylebone Parish Church, London, on Thursday 10th December 2015, has raised £50,000 to help the Charity tackle loneliness through its vital national and local services.

The festive fundraiser, sponsored by E.ON, was hosted by TV's Penny Smith, with musical performances from opera singer Lesley Garrett CBE and Opera Holland Park, seasonal readings from celebrities including Barbara Windsor MBE, Jon Culshaw, Kevin Whately and Kathy Lette, and traditional Christmas carols.

Money raised at Love Christmas will help Age UK make a crucial difference to the lives of older people. According to research by Age UK, more than a million older people say they haven't spoken to a friend, neighbour or family member for over a month(1). Age UK wants to combat this by providing companionship, advice and support for older people facing later life alone.

Barbara Windsor MBE said: 'We've had a truly magical evening at Age UK's Love Christmas carol concert and more importantly we've raised vital funds for the Charity. I've worked with Age UK for many years and know what a difference its work can make to lonely older people. Right now, there are many older people who feel they have absolutely no one to turn to, which is heart-breaking. Any support, whether that's from Age UK, family, friends or from members of the community, can make a huge difference to their lives.'

Age UK Ambassador Penny Smith said: 'I've had the pleasure of hosting Age UK's Love Christmas carol concert many times and I'm always amazed by the generous support we receive. Many of us enjoy a good celebration at this time of year however loneliness can make the outlook bleaker. My mum was a volunteer for Age UK and I know just how vital its work is in supporting older people who really need a helping hand. So thanks to everyone who came to the concert and helped raise funds for the Charity.'

Lesley Garrett CBE said: 'I had a brilliant time performing at Age UK's Love Christmas fundraising concert and happy I could support the Charity in this way. None of us want to feel lonely so it's incredibly sad to think of older people feeling alone at this time of year - there's something we can all do to help. Thanks to everyone who joined us in supporting Age UK and for the generous donations, which will enable the Charity to help vulnerable older people who need our support.'

Lydia Curran, Head of Events at Age UK, said: 'We're delighted with the generosity and support we received at Age UK's Love Christmas carol concert. The money raised at our festive fundraiser helps Age UK tackle huge issues like loneliness, which blights the lives of too many older people. Loneliness can be devastating and the festive season can be a particularly difficult time for anyone facing it alone, so we're extremely grateful to our sponsors, performers and everyone who attended the event for their support.'

Age UK helps to prevent and reduce loneliness by supporting a range of services and activities such as a friendly telephone call, weekly visits, social activities such as lunch clubs exercise classes and tea-dances, advice when there's nowhere to turn, and the chance to get out and about in the local community, all of which play a crucial part in helping make later life better. Regular contact from local Age UK services can be life-changing and give older people the confidence they need to feel more connected and less isolated.

Older people and their families can get in touch with Age UK to find out how the Charity could help someone who may be feeling lonely by calling Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 2081.

Last month, Age UK kicked off its No one should have no one at Christmas campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the loneliness epidemic among older people at Christmas. To help Age UK support lonely older people by donating, volunteering or signing its petition calling on Government to take action go to:

E.ON is the headline sponsor of Love Christmas. Ageas, Dignity and Rothesay Life are also sponsoring the event.

- Ends -


Media contact:

For more information or images, please contact Marilena Luxmoore, Media Officer at Age UK, on 0203 033 1204 or email

Notes to editors:

(1) Loneliness, Social Isolation and Living Alone in Later Life, C. Victor et al., 2003

About Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

About E.ON

E.ON UK is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, and retailing power and gas. It is part of the E.ON group, an international privately-owned energy supplier. It employs around 10,500 people in the UK and more than 58,000 worldwide. For more information visit

About Ageas

Ageas UK is a leading provider of award-winning insurance solutions in the United Kingdom. It distributes Personal and Commercial products underwritten by Ageas Insurance Limited through brokers, intermediaries, affinity partners, the internet and through its own wholly or part-owned companies trading as Ageas Retail, which also distributes products of other providers. Ageas Retail's brands include Castle Cover, Kwik Fit Insurance Services and RIAS. Ageas UK also holds a 50.1% share in Tesco Underwriting, providing home and motor insurance to Tesco Bank customers.

Insuring around eight million customers and working with a range of partners, Ageas UK is recognised for delivering consistent and high-quality customer experiences. It employs around 5,500 people with offices based across the UK.

Ageas is an international insurance group with a heritage spanning 190 years. Ranked among the top 20 insurance companies in Europe, Ageas has chosen to concentrate its business activities in Europe and Asia, which together make up the largest share of the global insurance market. These are grouped around four segments: Belgium, United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia and served through a combination of wholly owned subsidiaries and partnerships with strong financial institutions and key distributors around the world. Ageas operates successful partnerships in Belgium, the UK, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, China, Malaysia, India, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam and has subsidiaries in France, Portugal, Hong Kong and the UK. Ageas is the market leader in Belgium for individual life and employee benefits, as well as a leading Non-Life player through AG Insurance. In the UK, Ageas occupies the number 3 position in cars insured and has a strong presence in the over 50's market. Ageas employs more than 13,000 people in the consolidated entities and over 30,000 in the non-consolidated partnerships, and has reported annual inflows close to EUR 26 billion in 2014.

About Dignity

As provider of the Age UK Funeral Plan, we at Dignity are there to help people at one of the most difficult times of their lives. We have a network of funeral directors across the UK providing a caring, compassionate and professional service to each and every family we serve.

The Age UK Funeral Plan is offered by Advance Planning Limited, a company incorporated in England and owned by Dignity Pre Arrangement Limited (a subsidiary of Dignity plc). Registered Office: Advance Planning Limited, 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Registered in England, No. 3292336.

About Rothesay Life

Rothesay Life was established in 2007 and has become one of the leading providers of regulated insurance solutions in the UK market for pensions de-risking, making payments of around £700m a year from over £18 billion of insurance contracts. This strong growth has been achieved through the steady accumulation of pension scheme clients, significant strategic acquisitions and the reinsurance of in-force annuity portfolios.

Existing Rothesay Life clients include the pension schemes and members associated with such names as RSA, British Airways, Rank, Uniq, General Motors, the MNOPF (Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund), InterContinental Hotels, Philips, GKN, Lehman Brothers, Zurich Assurance and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Rothesay Life is a secure long-term provider of pensions, focused on

• a flexible and committed approach to execution;

• ongoing risk management to maintain balance sheet strength; and

• robust operational processes.

Rothesay Life is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Share this page

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

Become part of our story

Sign up today

Back to top