The sad reality is that we all know, or regularly encounter, lonely older people. Loneliness is at epidemic levels in the UK, but we can reverse the tide and stop the spread of the disease with simple acts of kindness.
We recently caught up with Kate Leaver, author of The Friendship Cure and a supporter of the #onemorecard campaign and here’s her take on it: “Believe me when I say that someone you know is lonely. We are living in an age of acute loneliness and the best thing we can do is to be kind to people in our orbit. Sending one more Christmas card this year to someone who may be delighted by it could start a friendship, make a day or ease some pain.”
Here’s your excuse to connect
Our #onemorecard campaign aims to encourage people to send a Christmas card to a lonely older person in their community. I’ve been busy visiting local schools and community groups, such as the Scouts, sharing the campaign with them and explaining how they can get involved by writing messages to lonely older people where they live. Whenever I ask the children I am talking to whether they know of an extra person they could send a card to this year their hands shoot up in the air. What I am noticing more and more is how observant and empathetic children naturally are; they see the faces that we miss, they don’t hesitate to share a smile and start a conversation with somebody new, irrespective of their age.
Don’t know who to send your extra card to?
So, if you want to take part in our #onemorecard campaign but are struggling to think who to send your extra card to, ask your children, your nieces, nephews and grandchildren as they’ll be sure to think of someone. Take a moment to reflect on the people you meet each day and remember you don’t have to know the individual to send them a card and brighten their day. Have a card ready in your bag to hand deliver; perhaps the lucky recipient could be the lady that gets on at your bus stop that smiles when she sees your familiar face, the old man walking the dog at the same time each day or a lonely neighbour. Don’t be shy, here’s your excuse to make that connection.
Bringing communities together
Do you remember how the snow brought us all together with communities rallying around to help each other? Conversation flowed, people made time to stop and help others clear paths and buy groceries and we were all the happier for it. Well let’s not wait for the white stuff! Join us on social media as we encourage each other to write #onemorecard.