Special Christmas party to combat loneliness in Lancashire

More than 50 older people at risk of becoming lonely or isolated have been treated to a special Christmas party.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Staff with an attendee at the party

Lancashire County Council’s adult care services held the party at The Leyland Centre in King Street, which showcased the community pulling together.

There was carol singing from the school choir at Leyland St James C of E Primary School, flute performances of Christmas classics and food and presents were donated by local people.

After a three-course meal, representatives from Age UK and the library service spoke to people about services on offer.

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Lancashire County Council's Combating Loneliness Christmas Party at the Leyland Centre

Dawn Whittle, occupational therapist, said “The party was absolutely brilliant and everyone enjoyed themselves. So many guests said how they don’t see anyone and that it took a lot to summon up the courage to attend, but they were so glad they did.

“One lady told me how she hadn’t left her house for years until the party and she absolutely loved it.

The party has given people more confidence and motivation to attend a day centre and lots of people said they would like to do it again.”

Heather Hesketh, occupational therapy manager, said: “We had the idea that we wanted to do something to help people who might feel lonely or isolated, and thought a party would be just the thing.

“We asked people from the county council’s care services and the organisations we work with to nominate people who they thought would benefit from the party.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere and everyone had so much fun on the day. Seeing how much people enjoyed it certainly made it all worthwhile.

“We had so many donations for the presents and food, and we’d like to thank everyone for their support and for giving up their time to help us on the day.”

Louise Taylor, executive director of adult services, health and wellbeing, said: "I am proud of colleagues who arranged this social event and I'm delighted that so many older people were able to come and enjoy the festivities.

"This time of year can be very difficult for those who are on their own or feel lonely and what a wonderful way to support them.

"I know the generosity of spirit and time will have been appreciated.

"We can all play our part in our communities by reaching out to those who might feel cut off or isolated."