Elderly people in Salford are set to have a Christmas they won’t forget this year after a group of local residents worked together to make sure everyone gets a present.
The ‘Be a Santa To a Senior’ scheme aims to give back to older people in our local communities who may not be receiving a present this Christmas.
Susan Robinson, organiser of the scheme said: “A lot of elderly people in Salford are totally isolated and believe that no one is thinking about them.
“This is why we want to make sure they receive a present from us at Christmas so they know we are thinking about them.”
Susan and her colleagues spent a week at ASDA in Swinton speaking to shoppers on their way into the supermarket to explain what they are doing for the elderly.
Many shoppers then donated presents on their way out after they had finished their shopping.
Susan said: “Although Home Instead supports seniors in their own home, these gifts are for people who won’t see anyone over Christmas.”
Colleagues from Home Instead and volunteers from Salford spent their Saturday taking part in the ‘Chat and Wrap’ wrapping the presents ready to be delivered for the elderly.
The presents will be given to local organisations this week who will deliver them to people who are in need.
This is the third year Home Instead have worked over the festive period to tackle loneliness.
Janine Derbyshire, a volunteer who took part in the ‘Chat and Wrap’ said: “I volunteered today because it’s just a little bit of time for someone who probably won’t get any visitors and won’t get any presents to make their Christmas special for them.
“We don’t do enough for our elderly and it makes them feel like somebody cares.”
Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are lonely and feel and feel isolated from society.
People can become socially isolated for many reasons including getting older or weaker, becoming widowed or single, leaving the workplace or through illness and disabilities.
According to AgeUK, 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone – 2 million are aged over 75. Loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
The NHS are encouraging people to smile at others and try to begin a conversation even if you’re finding it hard and don’t know what to say.
If you are feeling lonely this winter and would live some advice visit AgeUK