Together with Age UKs across the country, Age UK Tameside has this week launched their ‘No one should have no one at Christmas’ campaign, highlighting how loneliness affects older people across the UK.
In the UK, 1.2million older people are persistently lonely, with the same number coping with extended periods of loneliness, sometimes lasting for years. Locally, evidence suggests that up to 51% of older people in Tameside feel lonely some or all of the time. Loneliness can be the cause of a decline in physical and mental health; it erodes self-esteem and dignity. Two fifths all older people say the television is their main company.
Joanna Brannigan, Independent Living Manager for Age UK Tameside, says: ‘Imagine someone you care about – your mother or father, a friend or neighbour – feeling lonely, every day. That’s the reality for some older people. Seeing or speaking to no one, day after day. That’s why Age UK Tameside is here; to help support those many hundreds of older people right here in our community who need us most. But we need help in order to continue to provide lifeline services like buddying, day support and a handyperson’s service.’
Age UK Tameside supports people like Anne, who has spent every Christmas on her own since her mother died 14 years ago. And they’re there for her all the other days of the year, helping her to meet new friends at their Independent Living Centre, giving her opportunities to show her artistic flair with arts and craft activities that she treasures and taking a genuine interest in her wellbeing – making her feel cared for.
‘Coming to Age UK Tameside every week makes me feel stronger,’ says Anne. ‘And I feel a unity with the people I’ve come to call my friends here, because we’re all experiencing the same thing. We all feel cared for and I love it here.’
This Christmas, Age UK Tameside is asking everyone in the community who can, to make a donation – whatever the size – so they can ensure people like Anne won’t just slip through the cracks; and to make sure that Age UK Tameside can help more people in later life remain healthy and independent for longer. Last year, the charity supported more than 2,800 older people in Tameside and demand is growing, year on year.
Here are some examples of what your valued contribution would allow Age UK Tameside to do:
- £15 would pay for a fun, social keep fit session for an older person, reducing their risk of serious injury from a fall and increasing their opportunities have fun with others.
- £35 would allow Age UK Tameside to provide a lonely older person with transportation, company, entertainment, support and a hot meal on Christmas Day.
- £90 would allow Age UK Tameside to support a local older person for more than a month, to help them regain their independence after the loss of their spouse, a fall, a stay in hospital, or an illness.
If you are able to support Age UK Tameside’s appeal, please do so using either of the following methods:
- Text AUKT01 followed by the amount you’d like to donate (i.e. £1, £5, £10) to 70070
- Send a cheque with your chosen amount to: Age UK Tameside Christmas Appeal, 131 Katherine Street, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 7AW
- Make your donation online
You can also get involved by volunteering your time to help us support local older people. Click here for a listing of our most recent volunteer vacancies. Or if you are interested in opporunities during the Christmas period, please contact Terri on 0161 308 5000.
By supporting Age UK Tameside this Christmas, you can help to change the lives of local people for the better all year round.