Many communities across the UK provide companionship to older people on Christmas Day by running a community Christmas event, joining up with others at a local pub or restaurant or popping round for tea and cake. This is a fantastic chance to meet up with old friends and make new friends, creating bonds in the community that last beyond Christmas Day.

‘We had an elderly gentleman who used our service for the first time and he burst into tears when opening his gift – it was the only one he had received,’ said an organiser of one event.

Community Christmas want everyone to be able to look forward to Christmas Day and their free website listing is there to help spread the word about activities and events that are happening. If you, or someone you know, are getting people together in a village hall, a pub, a care home or other public place and would welcome older people then register with Community Christmas so that you can be listed for free on their website.

Christmas is a great excuse to get to know the neighbours better, so why don’t you invite them round for a cup of tea and a mince pie, give them a Christmas card or just simply let them know that you are there if they ever need anything. People are also encouraged to see if their older neighbours want help with being put in touch with a local community event. To see what is happening in your area do a postcode search on the Community Christmas website and contact your local organiser to find out more information. These events and gestures are great opportunities for people to create meaningful, long term friendships in their community, combating future loneliness.

For more information about Community Christmas and the ways you could help or donate, please visit their website: