People are being urged to write #OneMoreCard this Christmas as part of a campaign to help tackle loneliness among older people.

Hard at work with paper and pencils, children around the south east are decorating Christmas cards for an older person who might be lonely this festive season as part of the campaign One More Card.

Last year 96-year old veteran Harry Winters received over 500 Christmas cards from around the world, all to make him smile after his story was posted online. A concerned friend of Harry’s, and fellow former Royal Marine, decided to post a request on social media for Christmas cards to be sent to the veteran. Harry spoke to the BBC and said:

“It brightened up my Christmas and I think if people know some lonely people in the world they can send them Christmas cards to brighten up their days it would make quite a difference.”

The Thanet Volunteer Bureau are working with the 7th Margate Guides unit and the Thanet Community Support Partnership where the young girls will be creating and sending some 60+ cards to the older people they have on their books within the community of Thanet that are waiting for a Volunteer befriender.

A recent Co-op / British Red Cross study (2016) revealed Thanet to be in the top 39 loneliest places to live in Britain, with older people being particularly at risk of experiencing social isolation.

The Thanet Community Support Partnership runs several projects aimed at reducing loneliness among older people. Each week, for example, they hold two social activity afternoons, “Your Time”.

  • Your Time Ramsgate on a Wednesday afternoon, 1pm-3pm, at the Centenary Hall, Hardres Street, CT11 8QP
  • Your Time Garlinge on a Friday afternoon, 12pm-2pm, at the Hussar Hotel, CT9 5JP

These afternoons have different characteristics but are both very effective at providing places across Thanet where older people can socialise and become part of the community.

We all know someone who is lonely.

Whether you have a few days or even just a couple of hours a week to spare, if you would like to help others, and you are over 18, then you can register as a volunteer for one of our organisations.

All volunteers are provided with basic training, are police checked, and have their expenses paid.

If you would like to become a volunteer then contact the Thanet Volunteer Bureau on 01843 609337, email them at [email protected], or drop in and see them at the Thanet Volunteer Bureau (Kent Innovation Centre, Broadstairs, CT10 2QQ), Mon – Fri between 9am and 3pm.

“Take a moment to reflect on the people you meet each day and remember you don’t have to know the individual to send them a card and brighten their day. Have a card ready in your bag to hand deliver; perhaps the lucky recipient could be the lady that gets on at your bus stop that smiles when she sees your familiar face, the old man walking the dog at the same time each day or a lonely neighbour. Don’t be shy, here’s your excuse to make that connection.”

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