From giving somebody a call to volunteering, five ways to keep us all connected this Christmas

MOST of us dread being alone.

And studies show long-term loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.


The Sun’s Christmas Together campaign

THIS Christmas we are teaming up with the Together Campaign, a coalition of community groups and organisations, and Royal Voluntary Service to combat loneliness.

And we want to recruit an army of volunteers to support those feeling cut off, anxious and isolated, this Christmas.

Could YOU reach out to someone who might be struggling and alone?    

It might be someone you know in your own life or community who needs support.

Or we can connect you with someone in need through the NHS Volunteer responder programme run by the NHS, Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app. 

Could you give up half an hour to make a call and chat with someone feeling  isolated? Or could you volunteer to deliver essential shopping or festive treats?

Go to nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/christmastogether to sign up as a volunteer. 

You will then receive an email taking you through the sign up process and be asked to download the responder app which will match you to those in need in your area.

Don’t worry if you don’t get a job straight away, because jobs are matched according to the need local to you.  Being ready to help is what really matters.

But the Royal Voluntary Service, Jo Cox Foundation and NHS are among the groups mobilising millions of volunteers to help.

The Christmas Together campaign, backed by The Sun on Sunday, is calling on our readers to give someone a bell this holiday season.

Here are some of the ways you can help keep us all connected.

  • Call someone who might like to hear from you on Christmas Day. A relative, neighbour or anyone you know is on their own.
  • Ring a neighbour’s doorbell to drop off some mince pies or just have a (distanced) natter
  • At 6pm on Christmas Eve, help send a message of hope by ringing bells or banging saucepans as part of #ChristmasEveJingle.
  • Play games online or watch a movie with mates via Zoom, like your own version of TV’s Gogglebox.
  • Get involved through NHS Volunteer Responders and the Royal Voluntary Service. Sign up today at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/christmastogether.

Loneliness by numbers

1 in 5 people who live alone will spend Christmas on their own

60% said they had felt more lonely during the pandemic

37% people know someone who will be spending Christmas alone

16% Brits said they were ‘dreading’ Christmas 

52% said they have helped a vulnerable person during the pandemic 

4.2 million adults always or often felt lonely during the second national lockdown

16 to 29-year-olds are twice as likely as the over-70s to be experiencing loneliness in the pandemic

£5.9m marked by Government pilot to tackle loneliness

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