Older people who could spend Christmas alone are being invited into Abbeyfield houses at Bamburgh and Alnwick for a free meal or overnight stay.
The invitation comes as part of the older people’s charity’s ‘Coping at Christmas’ Campaign, launched last week.
According to Abbeyfield’s latest research, nearly two thirds of people over 65 in the UK say they find it hard to cope at Christmas due to isolation and loneliness.
The research, commissioned by Abbeyfield from YouGov, indicates that at least 2.5 million older people are not looking forward to Christmas this year and over 700,000 people do not expect to have a Christmas meal with all the trimmings.
“Many of us will be looking forward to the festive season, and we are the lucky ones,” said Richard Wilson, Ambassador for Abbeyfield’s Coping at Christmas.
“Millions of older people across the UK will be lonely this Christmas, with only their television for company.
“If you or anyone you know is going to be lonely this Christmas, contact Abbeyfield today and share a meal with them or enjoy an overnight stay.”
The Abbeyfield Society’s chief executive Paul Allen explained: “We invited hundreds of people up and down the UK into our houses last year over the Christmas period.
“It was a joy for Abbeyfield to celebrate Christmas with them and I know that our residents really enjoyed it. We hope even more people will join us this year.
“Christmas is for sharing and that’s what we are determined to do.”
Abbeyfield houses that are taking part in the scheme include Armstrong House, on Front Street in Bamburgh, and Ravenslaw House, South Road, Alnwick.
As part of Coping at Christmas 2013, people are able to ‘pledge’ support, in various ways, through the charity’s website