Groups bring old together for Christmas

Volunteers helped bring festive cheer to the borough and ensure people were not alone at Christmas.

Age UK North Tyneside and the Salvation Army joined together to host more than 70 people for Christmas Day lunch at the Army in North Shields.

Volunteers started preparing food and decorated tables at 9am while gifts were handed out thanks to donations from local businesses and schools.

Age UK North Tyneside chief executive Alma Caldwell said: “No one should feel lonely at any time of the year. The festive season is usually a time for celebration with family and friends, however research shows that older people in particular become even more isolated and depressed at this time of year.

“We are grateful to once again work in partnership with the Salvation Army, ensuring we reach as many people as possible, helping to make the festive season a more joyous occasion”.

Kevin Hopton, of the Salvation Army, said: “Being able to provide a Christmas Day lunch with all the trimmings and seeing everyone join in with a sing-along, quizzes and games couldn’t fail to lift the spirits of those involved.”

“This Christmas we worked tirelessly to deliver desperately needed help and hope to people who find this the coldest, harshest, loneliest time of year.

“For those living in poverty, there would be no Christmas at all if we were unable to deliver the food parcels they rely on, to see them through the festive period.”

This winter Age UK are re-running a national television campaign to ‘Love later life’ and help spread the word that local partners are there to help combat loneliness, provide free information and advice and enable independence.

Age UK North Tyneside is calling for donations to help fight loneliness and to support the vital work taking place to improve the quality of life for older people in North Tyneside. To donate call (0191) 280 8484 or text AGNT27 £2 or AGNT27 £5 and send to 70070.