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Last year Age UK put out another set of shocking statistics showing almost a million elderly people were spending the festive season alone. The charity estimates 873,000 people aged 65 and over aren't contacted by anyone during the Christmas period and year round, 1.8 million older people feel chronically lonely.
Faced with these startling figures, we’re urging you to join us and take action by sending just #onemorecard this Christmas. We’re not asking for any donations, nor a commitment of hours of your time.
Here are a few simple ways that you can join us in raising spirits and being a community champion – you’ll be amazed at the difference a small act of kindness can make to somebody’s day. Get involved and help spread the ripples of kindness far and wide.
Write #onemorecard and hand deliver or post it to a neighbour or older relative who may have been overlooked last year. Remember they don’t need to live alone to feel lonely.
Take a video or photo of yourself, friends or family writing #onemorecard and post it on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and nominate 3 others to do the same. See our how-to video and remember to use our hashtag #onemorecard.
Print off and cut out the Close to Hand angel companion template (no glue or sticky tape needed) for your children to colour in. You can download the angel free from us. Then deliver their finished design to an older person in your community. Having such a thoughtful handmade decoration will brighten up the recipient’s day and it’s the perfect icebreaker to start a conversion too.
Encourage your local primary school or nursery to participate in the #onemorecard campaign – download the school pack.
Let’s bring back the art of letter writing – encourage senior school children to connect with someone in their community by drafting them a Christmas letter.
Do you belong to a community group such as the Women's Institute or the Royal Horticultural Society perhaps? If you have links to lonely older people in your community could you offer to hand deliver cards that your local school children have written?
Does your son or daughter belong to the Scouts or Guides, Cubs or Brownies? Could they support the campaign and craft cards of their own to send? Perhaps they could earn a badge or two in the process.
Do you have links with your local care home, almshouse or sheltered housing group? Could you offer to connect your local participating school with people who would like to receive the cards?
Get your workplace involved – add an extra person to the company’s Christmas card list and include a personal message.
If you are out carol singing this year have Christmas cards ready to hand out to people – you don’t need to know them or their story, you just need to show that you care.
We’d love to keep a count of how many people the #onemorecard campaign reaches, so be sure to share with us on social media when you take part and how many extra cards you’re sending and we’ll keep a running count on our website.
Together we could ensure that the 873,000 older people who weren’t contacted by anyone last Christmas will each receive at least one card this year.