Community Christmas party tackles festive isolation

December 4th, 2015 in Home Group News

Elderly people facing a lonely festive period are being invited to share in a special celebration this week, one which aims to help them make new social connections.

On Friday the 4th of December over 60s residents in parts of London can enjoy a special celebration Christmas party thrown by workers from affordable housing association Home Group.

The event will be held at the Beacon Centre on the recently regenerated Rayner’s Lane estate in South Harrow. Several special guests have also been invited to attend including the Mayor of Harrow along with various local councillors and dignitaries.

The theme this year is combatting loneliness. Christmas is known as a time to celebrate with family and friends, but sadly, for many elderly people, it is the time that they feel most isolated.

A recent survey* has found that nearly half a million individuals over 65 will spend Christmas day alone. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they were not looking forward to the festive season.

The party is aiming to change this heart breaking reality for as many guests as possible.

As well as the traditional Christmas dinner, the celebration has multiple fun and highly social activities on the agenda, including games, dancing and bingo.

Home Group apprentice Ellie Boyle will be organising the event along with her colleague Koral Tilley and says:

“We held our first Christmas party for older customers last year and it was very well received by all who attended, including the Mayor of Harrow who we are delighted to be welcoming back again.

This year we are aiming to host something even bigger and better and give our over 60s customers a really special treat this Christmas.”

The hope is that connections forged at this festive gathering can last, create friendships and enable those in the neighbourhood to avoid feelings of isolation in the future.

To help make this happen, Age UK will be in attendance to give a talk and share some ideas on how to prevent loneliness.

Ellie says:  

“The best result would be that our guests take away more than just happy memories; that they gain new friends and get valuable tips on how to avoid feeling lonely in the future.”

*Research carried out by Age UK 13-19 October 2015
http://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/60-of-older-people-dont-expect-festive-happiness/

For further information contact Paula Sainthouse on 0191 290 6115, email paula.sainthouse@homegroup.org.uk or Robert Weatherall on 0191 290 7908, email robert.weatherall@homegroup.org.uk