A care home in Loughton is helping to tackle loneliness this Christmas Day by opening its doors to welcome isolated members of the community for Christmas lunch.
Woodland Grove on Rectory Lane is asking locals and organisations supporting the town’s older people to nominate individuals who may be facing the festive season alone.
“We know there will be many people who don’t have anyone to spend the day with,” said home manager, Hazel McGwyne.
“We would like to invite a small number of people to come into our home and have lunch with us. Our head chef, Laura Allars, and her team make a fantastic Christmas roast, there’ll be mince pies and maybe a glass or two to celebrate the day!
“Good company and good food can do a lot for our wellbeing and who knows – it could also be the start of a lovely friendship for someone.”
Figures from Age UK suggest more than 230,000 older people will spend at least one day over the festive season alone.
Helen Reed is a resident at Woodland Grove and says Christmas there is very special.
“I really enjoyed Christmas Day last year. The food was good and everyone around me was very happy. I think someone would have a lovely time spending the day here.”
Woodland Grove, which offers residential, nursing, memory and respite care, will be visited by Father Christmas and his helpers on the December 25 who will be handing out gifts.
“There will be traditional festive music, mince pies and the Queen’s Speech shown in the home’s cinema room.
Woodland Grove’s Lifestyle staff, who organise the festive entertainment, were recently shortlisted for ‘Activities Team of the Year’ in the Caring UK national care awards.
“As much as we would like to, we can’t welcome everyone who might benefit from some Christmas company, so we’d like to hear from people as soon as possible about a friend, neighbour or client we could welcome on the day,” said Hazel.
To nominate someone for Christmas lunch at Woodland Grove, contact Kiera Helsey at [email protected] or call 0208 508 9220.