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More than 125 Good Deeds have been sent to us as part of our Christmas campaign, Good Deed-cember, with more that  880,000 people being reached on our social media channels.     

The campaign, which was launched by actors John Middleton and Charlotte Bellamy on 20 November in Leeds and also at Derby County Community Trust in Derby, highlights isolation and loneliness amongst older people by calling on the public to remember older neighbours, friends and relatives by delivering a good deed this December, or by donating money to MHA’s Live At Home schemes.

Loneliness and isolation has reached epidemic levels across the country. There are over 1.8 million older people living alone, across all demographics and all parts of the country. Three million people over the age of 60 say they feel lonely and can often go for over a month without having a meaningful conversation with a friend, family member or neighbour.  

Nationally, MHA runs 57 community-based Live At Home schemes, all of which provide company and support for older people through a number of initiatives, including group lunches, befriending schemes, days out, keep fit classes and much more.  Each scheme provides slightly different services shaped by their members, but all have the shared goal of eliminating isolation and loneliness amongst older people and are supported by volunteers.

“We are extremely happy with the success of our Good Deed-Cember campaign so far. Hundreds of people up and down the country have been carrying out good deeds for older neighbours, friends and family, helping to raise their spirits at a time when feelings of loneliness and isolation are at their greatest”, comments Jonathan Mace, Head of Live at Home at MHA.

“However, there is still a long way to go as these issues will only get worse as we continue to live longer. That is why we need to raise awareness of just how many people are living alone this Christmas and throughout the year; it could be your next door neighbour. By carrying out even the smallest good deed, you can make a huge difference to someone’s life.”

“At MHA we want to tackle these issues by providing schemes and projects which enable older people living alone to be actively involved in their communities, but we can’t do it alone and need the public’s help to raise funds.” 

Some of the 125 deeds sent in by members of the public to MHA, or shared using #GoodDeedcember include:

‘Bringing Cakes and mince pies to a neighbour who has recently lost his wife’ 

‘Spending a few hours a week with a neighbour who is poorly’

‘Giving out free vegetables from the allotment to people, some of whom have difficulty getting out shopping’

‘Taking home made shortbread to a family friend who now finds it difficult baking’

‘A Christmas tea with carol singing for the elderly people in my village, most of who live alone’

Funds raised are directly going to people living alone, but who are part of MHAs hugely successful Live At Home scheme.  

To find out more, go to www.gooddeedcember.org.uk 

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