Awards Finalist – The Abbeyfield Society – Coping at Christmas Campaign

The Abbeyfield Society first piloted the Coping at Christmas Campaign in 2010 which aims to raise awareness of older lonely people in communities who may spend Christmas alone.  With the support of staff, volunteers and donations the Campaign ran campaign again in 2013, opening the doors of 130 homes across the UK for 12 days over Christmas. Abbeyfield offered free meals, companionship and, in some homes, an overnight stay for those who wanted to spend the time amongst friends.  The aim is to continue the campaign annually.

Why we liked this project

This is a valuable national initiative which helps overcome isolation and loneliness amongst older people in the community particularly at a time when they can feel particularly excluded.  Local organisations (Age UK/STEPs/ Adult Social Care) have helped to promote the campaign particularly in rural areas where people might be particularly isolated. We also liked the way the Campaign has led to older people moving into sheltered accommodation giving rise to longer term benefits. The initiative has clearly been supported by existing residents who have helped with organisation and promotion.

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