Loneliness is a subjective feeling and, if persistent, can have a significant negative impact on well-being and quality of life. The Campaign to End Loneliness state that 9% of older people report that they feel cut off from society, whilst 7% of people aged 50+ living in England (equating to around 1.4 million people) feel lonely often. These figures are both daunting and heart-breaking but where does one start and how can we, both companies and individuals, help to solve this problem?

Small acts can make a big difference, so, to this end, CHR joined forces with Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to bring some joy and festivity to around 100 people. Age UK aim to reduce social isolation by bringing people together, providing opportunities to meet people and develop friendships. As part of our Christmas CSR initiatives, CHR purchased over 100 gifts; our London and Cambridge teams then wrapped them all and included a handwritten card. In order to enlarge upon the care for others and our environment, the wrapping paper was recyclable and purchased from RSPB, whilst the cards were purchased from Oxfam.

This December, a small team from CHR delivered the wrapped gifts and messages to the Age UK centre at The Cherry Trees in Cambridge, where people meet regularly and participate in quizzes, raffles, and of course copious tea and coffee drinking! They spent some time chatting with visitors to the day centre but weren’t very much help with the quiz…! The gifts have now been distributed by Age UK, with most of them going to people who are not able to visit any of the day centres. Some have been delivered by Age UK ‘Sharing Time’ volunteers who regularly visit and share their time, friendship and help. We hope that our gifts bring a smile to their faces and let them know that someone is thinking of them.

A small investment of money coupled with the time, commitment, and care of our team members will hopefully result in a few people feeling less lonely this Christmas.