It’s so good to know that people think of others

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With just over two weeks to go to Christmas, it’s a time when many people are busy planning for fun-filled festivities. There are cards to write, decorations to put up, food to buy, presents to find and wrap and party outfits to choose.

But sadly for some, Christmas Day is not something to look forward to. Because for isolated older people in our communities, it can be an awfully lonely period.

It can seem like the rest of the world is having a great time while they are stuck indoors with no prospect of company for Christmas and no presents to open.

It’s why we launched our Christmas campaign Don’t Let Them Be Lonely, which aims to give gifts and time to those who might otherwise be on their own at this time of year.

We know from experience how generous and kind-hearted our readers are – and today it’s a pleasure to report how you have responded to our appeal.

People have been signing up to volunteer, while donated presents are piling up ready to be distributed to those to whom they would mean so much.

To many old people on their own, it is the simple act of company that means the most. So it is great to see so many of you offer your help to the Salvation Army’s befriending service Good Neighbours and to the similarly-named Good Neighbours Support Service, where volunteers visit people at home and carry out tasks such as shopping, or taking people for hospital appointments.

Freya Savidge-Conway, the Good Neighbours co-ordinator, said: ‘We feel very encouraged that there is such great Christmas spirit out there.’

We agree with Freya. At a time when we can get wrapped up in our busy lives, it’s so good to know people are prepared to think of others.

Please go to page 10 and find out how you can get involved.