No one should be lonely this Christmas: the organisations working to end loneliness in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 19:00 20 December 2019
Christmas may be the most magical time of year, but for some, it’s also the loneliness. These organisations are ensuring everyone has somewhere to go and someone to spend the big day with.
Christmas can be a hard time for those who live on their own, have suffered loss or unfortunate circumstances and have no where to go on the 25th. In 2018, Age UK estimated that half a million older people felt alone over Christmas, with 52% saying loneliness has become a 'normal' part of life. But thankfully, Suffolk is home to a number of organisations happy to open their doors on Christmas day, to offer a turkey dinner and a friendly face - so no one has to be alone.
Find Cuppa, a warm and friendly café on High Road West, Felixstowe, IP11 9AA, and indulge in locally-made cakes and FairTrade coffee. Cuppa regularly invites members of the community to host their own events in the café - from book clubs to knitting groups - but this year, they'll be hosting their own special event on Christmas day. To help combat loneliness in Felixstowe, Cuppa will be opening up its doors and offering a free Christmas lunch - thanks to the generous donations from The Rotary Club - to people who would otherwise have no where else to go. Cuppa has space for around 30 people, so reserve your place by contacting Sarah on 07308 285993. Or, for more information, visit their Facebook page.
Gatehouse Christmas Lunch, Bury St Edmunds
For over 30 years, local Suffolk charity Gatehouse has been hosting Christmas for people in the community who may otherwise be spending the day alone. This year, the event will take place on St Benedict's School, Beetons Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 6RH, and will welcome over 100 people to enjoy a hearty meal and entertainment. The charity works hard all year round to run foodbanks, day-care services to relieve those who care for people living with dementia and a furniture store for those with few possessions. Gatehouse states: "No-one in genuine need is ever turned away". To find out more click here to head to their website.
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Westbury Social Club and Community Centre Christmas Day Lunch, Bury St Edmunds
This fun and friendly club is celebrating Christmas together and welcoming others, so no one has to be alone. Enjoy a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding, followed by tea, coffee, and mince pies. Drinks will be available from 1pm and dinner will be served at 2:30pm. Oh, and there will even be a cracker for everyone, to make sure the day really does go off with a bang! Westbury Social Club and Community Centre on Oliver Rd, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 3JG, aims to help build confidence, reduce isolation and improve the wellbeing of men and women over the age of 55. For more information, to nominate someone or to book a place for yourself, call Ray on 07429 380095 or email him on email@example.com. Limited spaces are available, book in advance to make sure you don't miss out.
Elderly people who don't have anywhere to go on Christmas Day are welcome to join the friendly faces at Bupa UK, Union Road, IP14 1HL. Bupa have partnered with Re-engage, a charity that aims to alleviate loneliness and social isolation amongst over 75s, to work together on their Christmas campaign 'Community Christmas'. The campaign aims to restore the true meaning of Christmas, an ensure that every one has a welcoming place to go on the big day. Doors open at 11:30am. To find out more information or to book a place, call free on 0808 115 4520 or search online.
Lowestoft Salvation Army Christmas Day, Bury St Edmunds
Opening with carols at 10:30am, followed by a Christmas dinner at 12:30, the Salvation Army welcomes people to 9 Carlton Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0RU, to help ensure no one is lonely this year. Transport can be arranged for people who may find it difficult to reach the venue. The Salvation Army will provide a welcoming place for people to eat, socialise and be entertained until 4pm. Contact Lisa on 01502 573506, email her on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Salvation Army website for more information. Likewise, click here to make a donation.
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