EVE SIMMONS: Alone this Christmas? Here are 10 things you can do over the festive period if you don’t want to be
There is no need to be alone over the festive period – if you don’t want to be.
Says Age UK’s Jill Mortimer: ‘Local newspapers, notice boards in shops and libraries, and council websites are full of information about events happening in Christmas week.
‘Whatever you pick, make sure it’s within walking distance or a short drive away. Public transport is a no-go over the holidays.’
Here are ten ideas to get you started.
There is no need to be alone over the festive period – if you don’t want to be (file image)
1 BORROW A DOG
This website pairs dog-lovers who don’t have a dog with owners looking for a holiday home or a walker for their pet.
borrowmydoggy.com, £12.99 annually
2 HELP THE HOMELESS
Check local libraries, shops and newspapers for community activities over the Christmas period, including volunteering opportunities. Homeless shelters need volunteers, so do residential homes and hospices.
3 FESTIVE FUN RUN
Parkrun is putting on free group events in parks across the country on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. After your run (or walk), head to a nearby pub or cafe with your new friends.
4 GO ON A CITY TOUR
Hop on a sightseeing bus tour and then enjoy a slap-up Christmas lunch with a group of fellow explorers in a selection of cities and towns nationwide, including London, Canterbury and Salisbury.
goldentours.com/christmas-day, from £112.50
5 COMMUNITY DINNER
Community Christmas is a UK-wide project that matches the over-75s with local community dinners taking place during the festive period. Branches of the Salvation Army are offering a similar drop-in service, involving quizzes and entertainment.
reengage.org.uk, 0800 716543;
salvationarmy.org.uk, 020 7367 4500
6 MEET NEW FRIENDS
Connect with like-minded locals via a website that lists events taking place in your area.
Connect with like-minded locals via a website that lists events taking place in your area
7 PHONE AN EXPERT
Age UK, the country’s leading charity for older adults, runs a 24-hour helpline throughout the holiday season. Get advice on household problems or information on age-appropriate festive events taking place locally.
Alternatively, Esther Rantzen’s Silver Line charity organises Silver Circles – group calls for people with shared interests.
thesilverline.org.uk, 0800 470 8090;
ageuk.org.uk, 0800 678 1602
8 HAVE A SLEEPOVER
Abbeyfield residential homes is offering free festive events and overnight stays for lonely over-55s this Christmas. There are 400 homes across the country.
9 OAP SOCIAL MEDIA
Olderiswiser is a social network for – you guessed it – older people. Connect with friends and family and join forums to discuss interesting topics with other users.
10 PLAY SCRABBLE
There are more than 100 registered Scrabble clubs in the UK – which bring boardgame-lovers together. Check your local club for events over Christmas, or play via the Internet Scrabble Club site.
absp.org.uk, from free;