Plea to help our lonely elderly this Christmas

Carers feature. Holding hand.

Carers feature. Holding hand.

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The plight of lonely elderly people in Burnley is to be tackled this Christmas in a seasonal campaign from Age UK Lancashire.

The charity is on a mission to end loneliness and is supporting the “No one should have no one at Christmas” campaign to raise awareness of the negative effect loneliness can have on a person.

The majority of people will spend Christmas with family and friends but many people will have no one to share this special time of year with.

David Ward, Age UK Lancashire

It has set up a helpline that people can ring to find out what events are on over Christmas for those who are alone.

The Burnley Express reported recently that the Blue Line charity revealed elderly people in Burnley are among the loneliest in the country.

David Ward from Age UK Lancashire said: “We are asking people for support as we know there are many older people who we are unable to help.

“Now, more than ever before, we rely on donations and fund-raising to enable us to continue to support people, but also reach out to those who need us the most.”

In Lancashire it estimated that 30,616 older people experience loneliness on a daily basis.

Some older people say they have not spoken to a loved one in more than a month. Loneliness and isolation are not a normal part of growing older.

They have a drastic effect on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing, which in many cases can have serious consequences. Research carried out suggests that it can be as harmful to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Mr Ward added: “The majority of people will spend Christmas with family and friends but many people will have no one to share this special time of year with.

“This year we are collating information to let people know what is going on around the festive period, particularly on Christmas Day, so if anyone is facing Christmas alone and would like to go somewhere, please ring 0300 303 1234 and we can hopefully give them information about any local gathering.”

Age UK Lancashire provides many vital services that are unfunded so if you would like to donate to support their work you can: text AUKL02 £3 to 70070 or make a larger donation online at www.ageuklancs.org.uk

Other ways to support the charity include donating unwanted items to their charity shops or signing up to become a volunteer.

Information about the services and ways in which you can support can be found at www.ageuklancs.org.uk or call 0300 303 1234.