Good Practice Case Study – Coping at Christmas Campaign

Abbeyfield logo

Finalist in Erosh Innovation & Good Practice Awards 2014.

What is it?

The Coping at Christmas Campaign (2013) involved Abbeyfield schemes opening their doors over the Christmas period to older people in the community who would otherwise spend this time alone.  Abbeyfield offered (free of charge) meals, companionship and, in some cases, an overnight stay for those who wanted to spend Christmas amongst friends.

What were its aims?

To raise awareness of isolation and loneliness and help lonely older people in the local community particularly those who usually spend Christmas alone.

What were the outcomes?

The Campaign resulted in 275 guests at Abbeyfield schemes over the Christmas period who were able to spend the time in a warm, welcoming environment amongst friends rather than being isolated and lonely resulting in a positive impact on their general health and well-being. Lasting friendships have been developed and some ‘guests’ have gone onto choose to live in sheltered accommodation; others have become volunteers (volunteer enquiries have increased by 297% from 2012).

Why we like it

This project highlights the vital role older people’s housing schemes can play in the community particularly in relation to overcoming isolation and loneliness. It also helped to widen awareness generally of Abbeyfield accommodation resulting in some older people seeking to move in.

Why the customer liked it

“Abbeyfield made what would have been a very unhappy and lonely Christmas Day. I was made very welcome by the House Manager and residents. The Christmas lunch was excellent and well presented.”  Abbeyfield guest

“My client MH attended Christmas lunch at Abbeyfield in Gosport, under your Coping at Christmas Campaign. I visited Michael this morning for the first time since Christmas and he told me what a lovely time he had. He had even written “GREAT!” under the appointment on his white board. I just wanted to thank you Lyn for all your hard work organising and securing Michael’s place and Vanessa and all the staff at Privett for making it such a lovely day for M.”  Niemand – Support Worker, Family Mosaic, Southampton, SO15 0SD

See also the following video clips:

Interview with Abbeyfield Patron, Geoffrey Palmer and Mark Gleeson from Abbeyfield

Audrey Rand speaks about Coping at Christmas

Find out more


Lyn Orders, Divisional Administrator (West).

T: 07710 068814 / 01326 314832 / E:

Your own good practice to share?

Complete our Good Practice Example Form and email it to Rebecca Mollart, Chief Executive, erosh,

Go back