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Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and light. But imagine having nobody to pull a cracker with.
No one to exchange a gift and share a hug with. Not a single soul to wish you a Merry Christmas.
Sadly, half a million older people in the UK are not looking forward to Christmas because they will be alone or don’t have anyone to spend it with.

Many people don’t realise how many older people are suffering in silence with no one to talk to, no one to turn to for help. This is a national emergency happening behind closed doors – and one that is becoming more urgent as we approach Christmas. While many of us look forward to our first Christmas all together in two years, almost 1.5 million older people often feel more lonely at Christmas than any other time of year.  A far cry from their happy memories of Christmas past spent with family and friends.

Here at Age UK Wiltshire, our Wellbeing service can offer support to older people who may have lost the confidence to get out and about by re-connecting them with an activity in their community so they can make new friends and rebuild their networks.  

More than 200,000 older people in the South West could be spending Christmas alone. Help us be there for them.

Elizabeth's Story

Elizabeth used to be socially active but since the pandemic has been self-isolating.  She's lost confidence in going out and had also started to struggle with her mobility.  With the help of an Age UK Wiltshire volunteer, she has been encouraged to join one of our Fitness & Friendship Clubs and through this has made some new friends, rediscovered her confidence and has started to improve her mobility.  

"Thanks to the encouragement from a lovely volunteer, I now feel ready to leave the house.  I have started to believe in myself once again and have the confidence and desire to do things.  I've met some wonderful people at the Fitness & Friendship and really look forward to going." 

The Age UK Wiltshire Wellbeing service can support an older person to join one of our Fitness & Friendship clubs to help them build up their confidence and get out and about in the community again.  

Peter's Story

Peter is a widower and lives alone.  He moved into the area after his wife died but then the pandemic struck and he wasn't able to go out to meet people and make new friends in the area.  He called our Information & Advice service for help with his finances and on speaking to them, revealed the he was lonely and that he used to enjoy going to a bowls club when he lived in Weymouth.  The volunteer advisor he spoke to did some research and found a local bowls club that was taking new members and spoke to them about Peter.  They were delighted to welcome him and even arranged for an existing member to meet him beforehand so he didn't feel too daunted on his first visit.  

"I'm really pleased that I called Age UK Wiltshire and told them I was lonely.  It's not an easy thing to admit and I wasn't sure how they could help.  But I've now found something that I enjoy doing again and have got the opportunity to make new friends."

Thanks to our supporters, our Information & Advice line continues to be there for older people who have no one else to turn to.  Our small team regularly deals with more than 1,000 calls a month from people looking for help.  

If there was ever a time when Age UK’s services were desperately needed, it is now.  Thank you for your support!

Here's how you're helping us be there for older people through these challenging times.

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