Christmas is a time for family, friends and fantastic food – but for more than 500,000 older people the celebrations will be marked by grief, isolation and loneliness (source: Age UK).
That’s why Abbeyfield’s annual Companionship at Christmas campaign is back, offering free festive events, festive cheer and friendship for all who need it.
Many of our homes and houses will open their doors in December and early January to provide free overnight stays, meals and seasonal activities to vulnerable and isolated people aged 55 and over, who would otherwise be on their own over the Christmas and New Year period. Others will be venturing outside their walls to partner with local community organisations to attract a larger audience.
Abbeyfield ambassador and popular singer and presenter, Aled Jones, MBE, is a keen supporter of our campaign. He said, “Most of us take for granted that we’ll enjoy a fun-filled Christmas surrounded by our loved ones, but for more than half a million older people the festive season is a time of isolation that can bring to the fore painful memories of happier times with friends and family. A sense of loss, and the fear of being alone or a burden to others, is agonisingly real for many people.
“Abbeyfield was founded in response to the crippling loneliness endured by many older people in their everyday lives. The Companionship at Christmas campaign is a wonderful example of how, more than six decades after the first Abbeyfield home was opened, they are still working to help enrich the lives of older people and make their later years happier and more fulfilled.
“Companionship at Christmas is a chance for older people in Abbeyfield homes and the wider community to come together to enjoy the season of goodwill in warmth and laughter and to hopefully forge friendships that will last beyond the festive period.” – Aled Jones, MBE.
Abbeyfield Gloucestershire has three gorgeous houses located in Cheltenham, Prestbury and Cirencester who are opening their doors throughout December. All are welcome to visit and you’ll enjoy a friendly tour of the house and a 2 course lunch on us! You can look forward to some delicious home cooked food and a chat with other residents.