Reaching out to the lonely this Christmas
DID you read about the boy dubbed the loneliest boy in Britain? He has the pleasure – or bad luck – to be the only pupil at his school on a remote Scottish island.
As home schooling is growing in popularity it got me wondering whether any of our youngsters would swap with him, so that they too could enjoy this kind of one-to-one attention.
I suspect not. Nowhere to hide from an ever-present teacher? Chasing yourself at playtime? A meal-for-one at lunchtime?
The move for more parents to educate their children round the kitchen table rather than in the mainstream classroom appears to be mainly because of bullying or the fear (particularly in America) of wider violence. Others worry that their value systems or religious beliefs are at odds with those being taught in schools.
However I suspect that most pupils would rather wade their way through the hurly burly of school life with all its problems, rather than be rattling around alone.
Loneliness can strike at any age of course and we tend to focus on it at this time of year.
I’m not sure the sentimental John Lewis advert with its man on the moon does anything to help, but we cannot escape the fact that many, often older, people are facing the festive season alone, through bereavement or loved ones having moved away, perhaps abroad.
It is therefore great to hear that David Routledge is once again arranging the Christmas Day lunch and tea for those who would otherwise be alone.
If you would like to know more phone 01895 272281 leaving a message if necessary (speaking slowly) – name, address, postcode, phone number and email if possible, and whether you need transport or use a wheelchair.
This wonderful scheme is in its 25th year and in 2014, 120 people joined in the fun at Christchurch Halls in Redford Way, Uxbridge.
I read that Esther Rantzen, since she was widowed, is also fed up with her own company and would like to meet someone to share her life. I hope she does.
I can’t really sympathise, however, with her complaint that she spends her time watching Strictly and Downton and bingeing on cheese and biscuits.
With the crowded shops, dark evenings and cold weather, it sounds to me like a good night in.