Spreading Holiday Cheer: Age Concern’s Christmas Initiative To Help Reduce Social Isolation And Loneliness
Christmas is a time for giving, and Age Concern Wellington staff are excited to don Christmas hats and become Santa’s elves for a day, delivering Christmas Gift bags to isolated and lonely seniors.
With more than 12,000 seniors living alone in the Wellington Region, many may not receive any visitors or gifts this Christmas. Through the generous support of Summerset Retirement Villages, AMP and CK. & Co Realty, Age Concern staff will be hand-delivering special Christmas gift bags to over 50 isolated seniors around the Region.
Age Concern CEO, Stephen Opie says, “Over the years I have seen how small gestures can have the biggest impact on our seniors. These members of our community are often the most forgotten and unseen, and this Christmas, with the help of some generous sponsors, we can make sure they know they are not forgotten with a special gift.”
Age Concern reaches around 900 seniors each week in the Wellington Region through services and events designed to facilitate social connection. Loneliness is a major problem not just in our communities, but around the world. This has prompted the World Health Organisation to form a special Commission to address loneliness as a pressing health threat, promote social connection as a priority and accelerate the scaling up of solutions in countries of all incomes.
The Commission, announced last month, will consider how connection enhances the well-being of our communities and societies and helps foster economic progress, social development, and innovation.
Delivery of these gifts by Age Concern, which include useful items and treats, will happen on 19 December with the help of volunteers and staff.