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Michael

How you're helping make Christmas a little brighter

Older people like Michael, Terry and Connie are relying on our support this Christmas. Here's how, thanks to your donations, Age UK can be there.

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The challenge 

Christmas is a time of togetherness. But sadly, millions of older people are suffering in silence with no one to talk to, no one to turn to for help.

3.48 million

older people in the UK say they are not looking forward to Christmas.

1 million

older people in the UK will be eating dinner alone on Christmas Day.

1.47 million

older people in the UK say that they often feel more lonely at Christmas than any other time of year.

Michael's story

At 71, Michael has a lot of festive celebrations to look back on. But sadly, ever since moving into sheltered housing and losing touch with those closest to him, these fond memories quickly became his only company at this time of year. He told us: 

"Loneliness is devastating. It feels like having a prison sentence for 30 or 40 years. Shut away in the dark."

But thanks to our Telephone Friendship Service – and the kind supporters who donate to make it possible – Michael won’t be lonely this Christmas. He’s been matched with Gemma, a new friend who calls every week for a chat to help make Michael’s days a little brighter all year round. He says: 

"I always look forward to the call when Friday comes around. We get on like a house on fire."

The solution

Age UK provides expert advice, practical support and friendship all year round - even on Christmas Day. Last Christmas:

28,345 friendship calls

We supported more than 28,345 calls made to older people through our Telephone Friendship Service.

99% less lonely

99% of older people said the calls made them feel less lonely - and more than a third said they were the highlight of their week.

31,471 Advice Line calls

In November and December last year we answered 31,471 calls made to our Advice Line, and provided expert information and guidance.

Your support makes this possible.

The impact

Your support has a life-changing impact on the lives of older people – bringing joy and companionship in the face of despair.

“My telephone friend is a light in the wilderness. Thanks to Age UK I’ve got a friend I can rely on.” - Terry, 97

“No one else will wish me a Merry Christmas. But that’s OK – because I know my telephone friend Gemma will.” - Michael, 71

"Having someone to talk to when I’m on my own helps make those long, dark, winter nights a little less lonely." - Connie, 93

We cannot let older people suffer in the darkness of severe loneliness.

Could you help us this Christmas?

£15 could pay to answer 3 calls to the Age UK Advice Line, providing older people with expert information and support

£30 could help to pay for 6 regular befriending calls to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities

£50 could help train an adviser to provide information and support to an older person who needs help and reassurance when they have no one to turn to

In a year where we’ve seen a growing reliance on our support services, we urgently need your help. 

Thank you for helping us make Christmas a little brighter

Your support could help us make more telephone friendship matches and keep our services open every day, including Christmas Day.

Age UK provides a range of services and your gift will go wherever the need is greatest. 

Age UK is a registered charity, no 1128267. 

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