CHRISTMAS can be a lonely time for older people, with many isolated with no one to spend the special day with.
But a charity at Gosport is throwing open its doors to ensure they have somewhere warm to eat Christmas lunch with great company.
Brendoncare’s Club Hampshire, in Willis Road, will provide a free buffet on Christmas Day.
There will be wine, soft drinks, a raffle and small gifts to open – and it’s all free.
Edwin Ingleton, the head of club services for Brendoncare, said: ‘We are really pleased to be supporting the local community by holding this Christmas Day buffet.
‘We recognise that loneliness doesn’t stop at the weekends and that the festive period can be a particularly lonely time for older people who may not have friends and family around them.’
Most of the food is being donated. There are 30 places but there is some flexibility if there is a big uptake.
The charity is also looking for volunteers on the day – from transporting guests to working at the lunch.
Karen Seale, south east locality manager at Brendoncare, said: ‘More than one million older people in the UK say they are always or often lonely.
‘Loneliness can affect our mental and physical health. One study found that loneliness can be more harmful to health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
‘It also increases the risk of cognitive decline.
‘Brendoncare runs more than 85 social and friendship clubs across Hampshire and Dorset and is currently focused on expanding its offering of clubs at weekends.’
To book your place, or to volunteer, call Brendoncare on 01962 852133 or 07467 955865 by December 2.
n Brendoncare would like to ask any individual or organisation interested in providing financial support to the charity or in sponsoring their local club to get in touch by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 01962 852133.
More information about Brendoncare Clubs can be found at brendoncare.org.uk/clubs.