How to alleviate loneliness at Christmas
Whilst December is a time for many of us to get together with family and friends, for some, it can be a challenge - whether you have lost a partner, or your family live elsewhere and cannot travel, a number of people are left spending Christmas alone. Luckily, there are a number of ways communities and charities come together at this time of the year to alleviate feelings of loneliness at Christmas.
2020 was an especially difficult year for some - with coronavirus restrictions in place, many people spent Christmas without their loved ones. This year, with more testing and vaccine rollouts, there is light at the end of the tunnel - let’s take a further look into what some of the UK charities (and you can) do to help people have a holly jolly Christmas this year!
UK Charities helping to battle loneliness at Christmas
There are a number of charities that work tirelessly each year to combat loneliness at Christmas.
The charity Re-engage, set up a loneliness at Christmas campaign last winter in the wake of the pandemic. Volunteers, known as call companions, call lonely and isolated elderly people on a regular basis, giving a lifeline of friendship. There are many ways in which you can get involved in this wonderful charity by becoming a call companion, a coordinator, or a volunteer interviewer - check out their website for more information.
Refuge provides a safe haven for women and children fleeing domestic abuse - frequently departing with only the clothing on their backs, and feeling incredibly scared and isolated. With this charity, you can buy an 'emergency parcel' containing toiletries, food, nappies, children's clothing, and a change of clothes for mum for just £10.
Crisis at Christmas, running science 1971, helps support homeless people at Christmas, by offering them somewhere to sleep, a hot meal and some company. They are always looking for people to help out with this cause.
Similar to Re-engage, the Silver Line is a call centre based charity that is a free, confidential helpline for older people across the UK. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. You can get involved this Christmas by donating or becoming a Telephone Friendship Service volunteer.
Steps you can take to help people feeling lonely at Christmas
Help in the fight against food poverty in the UK and meet an array of people by volunteering at a food bank. Check out the Trussell Trust’s website for more information on how you can get involved - they support a nationwide network of food banks with over 1,200 centres and 28,000 volunteers.
Make them feel special! Catch up with an old friend, even if it’s just for a coffee or a long phone call - you’d be surprised how much it can make someone’s day. Another way you can spread Christmas cheer is by attending some of your local community events, and having a conversation with a stranger - they might end up a friend!
Surprise your friends and family with gifts, whether they love classic movies, or smelly stuff - shop around to find a small token of your appreciation. If they consider themselves to be a foodie, Popcorn Shed has a variety of gourmet food gifts that will guarantee to put a smile on their face.
How you can have a Merry Christmas
If some of the above advice feels out of touch, or simply, not feasible, there are ways in which you can look after yourself this Christmas and relieve feelings of loneliness. First of all, be honest with how you’re feeling. It’s OK to feel alone when this time of year can be so overwhelmingly family oriented.
Make sure to prioritise the things that bring you pleasure, whether it’s a walk in the park, or getting stuck into a new book - put time aside to do what you enjoy. Lastly, don’t forget to check in with friends and family who are also living alone this Christmas - talking to just one person a day can lift your mood!
Gift them something different with letterbox food gifts
At Popcorn Shed, we pride ourselves in making a-maize-ing gourmet popcorn gifts that put a smile on the faces of your loved ones. Why not send a friend or relative a surprise this Christmas with our letterbox food gifts, filled with three delicious classic flavours or iconic gourmet flavours - perfect for every poppin-fan!
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