Solic­i­tors plan tea for el­derly to help beat lone­li­ness at Christ­mas

Southport Visiter - - Front Page -

A SOUTH­PORT solic­i­tors firm is or­gan­is­ing an af­ter­noon tea to pro­vide lonely peo­ple with some fes­tive cheer.

On Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 12, Hodge Hal­sall will be host­ing the event at the Box Tree Kitchen, which will raise funds for Queen­scourt Hospice, as well as pro­vid­ing com­pany to those who will not have fam­ily or friends visit over the Christ­mas pe­riod.

Mar­ket­ing man­ager at Hodge Hal­sall, Cor­rine Har­ris, who has been or­gan­is­ing the event, said: “I saw on the Age UK web­site an ar­ti­cle on spot­ting signs of lone­li­ness and I thought it would be a good idea.

“A few peo­ple at work agreed and I de­cided to use my pow­ers in mar­ket­ing to set some­thing up and put the feel­ers out. Queen­scourt is our char­ity of the year and we asked if we could use the Box Tree Kitchen, in Church­town, that’s run en­tirely for the char­ity by vol­un­teers.

“They’re let­ting us use the venue and pro­vide af­ter­noon tea.”

Cor­rine has been busy get­ting in touch with lo­cal groups who as­sist the el­derly, so that no­body misses out

She said that she has pulled to­gether a net­work who will be mak­ing the event a spe­cial one for all in­volved.

“I’ve gone around the nurs­ing homes, res­i­den­tial homes, Age UK, Home In­stead, they’re all work­ing with us.

“So far, we have 28 guests signed up, they’re go­ing to get a per­sonal in­vi­ta­tion to the event. We have a brass band com­ing, a school choir signed up, Santa’s com­ing. June’s florist are go­ing to dec­o­rate it for us, so it looks Christ­massy.

“Every­one in the of­fice is very fam­ily-ori­en­tated.

“For me, it means a lot, I know what my Grandma was like, we lived next door to her, but even she got lonely dur­ing the day if we were all out.

“With South­port hav­ing an older age range, I went to this train­ing ses­sion last week at Liv­ing Well who were do­ing train­ing on how to talk to peo­ple in that en­vi­ron­ment, and they told us that there are a lot of older peo­ple in South­port who go to the com­mu­nity cen­tre and that’s their com­fort zone, they don’t know what’s on of­fer out­side of that.

“There might be things go­ing on in the town that they don’t know about, a lot of it is on so­cial me­dia and some peo­ple in that gen­er­a­tion aren’t par­tic­u­larly tech-savvy.

“Be­ing by your­self isn’t nice for any­one; no­body should be alone, es­pe­cially at Christ­mas, so be­ing able to put a smile on their faces is heart­warm­ing, as cheesy as it sounds.”

While Hodge Hal­sall’s event has reached far and wide, Cor­rine is con­scious that the good work done in the town to help the el­derly may be be­ing missed by those it is aimed at.

She hopes to ad­ver­tise this at the af­ter­noon tea.

“We’re work­ing with Home In­stead, who are a care provider for South­port, who of­fer a be­friend­ing ser­vice where they match peo­ple up if some­one wants to stay at home, rather than go into the res­i­den­tial home.

“They’re not the only ones who do it, but it’s bril­liant and I don’t know if every­one knows they ex­ist. From set­ting up this event, I’ve found out what is avail­able,

I’ve got a leaflet that has a sched­ule of all the ac­tiv­i­ties for older peo­ple to at­tend in South­port.”

The af­ter­noon tea will take place on

Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber

12, 1-3pm.

Visit uk.vir­gin­money giv­ing.com/spreadthe­joy

Hodge Hal­sall mar­ket­ing man­ager Cor­rine Har­ris

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