A LEADING charity has praised The News’ Christmas campaign but urged people to think of the elderly all year round.
Age Concern, in Cowplain, has 1,200 members who take part in activities as diverse as table tennis and bingo, in order to keep fit and healthy in their twilight years.
We congratulate The News on its very worthwhile campaign to ensure that lonely and isolated people have something to look forward to at ChristmasDavid Hawkley
But there are many older people who are cut off from the rest of society. We asked our readers to support the most vulnerable elderly people in our communities with the Don’t Let Them Be Lonely campaign.
You have donated presents and signed up to volunteer at charities which provide lifelines for the loneliest older people in our society.
Last week David Hawkley, chairman of Age Concern, in The Borrow Centre, Cowplain, joined volunteers at the charity’s annual free Christmas dinner at the centre in London Road.
He said: ‘We congratulate The News on its very worthwhile campaign to ensure that lonely and isolated people have something to look forward to at Christmas, since this resonates with the work we do all year round at the Borrow Centre.
‘We have an extensive team of volunteers whose sole role is to visit people who have been introduced to us by neighbours, family or concerned friends, and who have become in some way detached from their community for various reasons.
‘This service was last year extended into the adjoining parishes of Horndean and Clanfield.
‘The News has made a splendid effort in encouraging many organisations to make provision at Christmas.’
The News is supporting Age UK Portsmouth, the Salvation Army’s befriending service and the Good Neighbours Support Service.
On December 23 there will be a big free Christmas party at Age UK Portsmouth’s Bradbury Centre, in Fratton, for people who may not have anyone else to spend the festive season with.
Dozens of presents have been donated for partygoers to unwrap.
And we asked for people to volunteer just a couple of hours a week to the Good Neighbours and befriending service.
Those two hours can make a huge difference to a lonely older persons’s life.