Age UK Isle of Wight is reaching out to those who are maybe lonely or isolated this Christmas to say ‘we are here for you’.

Their annual campaign, supported by Megan Baker Estate Agents, is entitled is ‘No One Should Have No One’.

Before the outbreak of coronavirus, the Island was already facing a loneliness epidemic amongst older people. But this crisis has now intensified following a year of lockdowns and social distancing.

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Did you know that in the UK 1 million older people say they feel lonelier than ever at Christmas time? Loneliness is a growing problem for older people on our Island, with 1 in 6 older Islanders (65+) living alone.

Feeling lonely doesn’t necessarily mean you have no one nearby. You may be surrounded by friends and family but still feel lonely. Loneliness is unique to every individual. It can have different causes and consequences for each of us.

Age UK Isle of Wight know that the effects of loneliness and isolation can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is associated with depression, sleep problems, hypertension, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, psychological stress and mental health problems.

If you are lonely it is important to take steps to try and make new connections. Age UK Isle of Wight can help you take this first step. Phone 01983 525282 or visit www.ageukiw.org.uk today.

The charity is asking for support of monetary donations to help to fund social isolation services or for donations of time. The befriending scheme, currently at its highest demand, is in need of volunteer support to help to relieve local loneliness (this can be done in person or by telephone). There are many ways that you can support us, some even without it costing you a penny, you can find out how online at www.ageukiw.org.uk.

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Island Echo