Let's Banish Loneliness

John Lewis’ recent ad highlighted the plight of lonely older people.

Sadly this isn’t just a Christmas problem. For many older people loneliness is a year round grief. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many little ways we can all make a difference.

Start a conversation.

If you see an elderly neighbour on the street, stop for a chat. Something as simple as that can make all the difference.

Get to know your neighbour.

Introduce yourself when you see them next and ask if you can help in any way, particularly if you know they live alone.

Share a meal.

Some older people struggle to cook for themselves, so next time you’re whipping something up chuck an extra portion in a microwaveable container and take it round. Minimum cost, maximum joy.

Volunteer.

Most communities have organisations offering "befriending" schemes and need telephone "buddies", visitors or drivers. Your time is the most precious gift you can give.