Care provider Home Instead is re-introducing its annual Santa to a Senior campaign which provides lonely residents of Salford with a present on Christmas Day.
Due to the pandemic, the charity effort was cancelled last year.
Loneliness is a prominent factor within Salford’s elderly population and this could increase following the announcement of Plan B yesterday. According to Age UK, particular areas in Salford that are high risk include Langworthy and Ordsall. It also estimates that loneliness in the over 50s will reach 2 million by 2025/6. This is an increase of 47.6 per cent within 10 years.
Mel Looby, the charity recruiter for Home Instead, said: “The pandemic really put a full stop to it, so it’s really at the forefront of our need to do it. Just so they can get something on Christmas day and just be happy.”
However, she also believes that the pandemic has increased participation, saying: “People are happy to get out and once they’re happy to get out you’re in a good mood.
“Then you’ll go and buy something, it’s definitely raised it, raised the profile a bit more.”
The elderly population of Salford is 33,200 which is expected to grow to 45,600 by 2030. Around one in ten of elderly people in the UK is lonely all or almost all of the time.
This translates to more than 3,000 elderly residents facing loneliness all or almost all of the time. This issue becomes increasingly prevalent during the holiday season.
The local community has given more than 400 gifts so far. Ms Looby praised those who helped: “In Swinton, they have just been amazing, we’ve collected so much stuff so far, it’s just been so good.”
During lockdown, many older people felt that they were missing time with friends and family that they could not recapture. Especially for those who are reaching the end of their life. With the new restrictions including working from home, these difficulties and issues are most likely going to re-emerge.
This Saturday the charity is hosting a wrap and chat night. Partners will distribute gifts prepared by the charity. Partners of the charity, such as Age UK and the local church, choose these recipients themselves.
Mel Looby explained: “They don’t go to our clients at all but they actually go to the most vulnerable in the area. That’s what we do it for.”
To donate a gift for this campaign give them to Home Instead Senior Care Salford, 457 Chorley Road, Swinton. Or contact them on 0161 870 3861.