Campaign to combat loneliness

Everyone knows someone living alone, whether it’s a relative, friend or neighbour.

It’s times like Christmas when we’re enjoying our festive get-togethers that we forget about those isolated at home.

Josie Forrest is the treasurer of Age Concern Eastwood, and this Christmas she is not only encouraging more pensioners to come along to her lunch club each week, but she is supporting a new campaign encouraging people to volunteer and help more in the community.

The ‘Campaign to End Loneliness’ – an initiative launched by Age UK Nottinghamshire – wants as many people as possible across the county to do all they can to tackle loneliness.

Josie said: “Working in our local community, it becomes more and more evident that loneliness is a real problem.

“The real impact of loneliness on an older person’s health is just as damaging as lifelong smoking and alcoholism,” she said,

“It is more detrimental than obesity and there is twice the risk of Alzheimers Disease in the lonely than someone who is not lonely,” she added.

The campaign calls on people to make pledges such as talk to a neighbour who lives nearby at least twice a week, arrange a coffee morning in the community to include people who could be considered lonely, phone your gran or an elderly relative that lives alone at least once a week, volunteer to a visiting service and visit a housebound older person on a regular basis or organise a craft group for older people in your neighbourhood.

Pledges can be anything that you think would combat loneliness in your community and you can pledge by visiting www.ageuknotts.org.uk and completing the online pledge form.

Alternatively write to FREEPOST License number RSXB LZBY TCSS, Age UK Notts, Bradbury House, 12 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham NG1 4FQ or drop into the Age UK shop in the Hollies, Eastwood for a form. Once your pledge is received by return post you will be sent a free information pack.

Age Concern Eastwood hosts social get togethers, entertainment and lunches several times a week at the Colin Dyson Centre in Edward Road.

Door to door pick up for a small charge can be arranged so there is no need to sit alone at home.

Ring today for more information on 01773 714596.