Volunteer Now tackles loneliness with new campaign urging public to give the gift of friendship this Christmas

Public encouraged to spread good cheer and volunteer as a befriender to the elderly community and give the gift of friendship this Christmas

Volunteer Now, the lead organisation for volunteering in Northern Ireland, has launched a new campaign which aims to put tackling loneliness in the elderly community at the top of this year’s Christmas wish list.

With almost a quarter of older people saying they will be forced to choose between heating their home or putting food on their table this winter, Volunteer Now is launching a new campaign to bring older people together this Christmas to share hot food and friendship.

The ‘Give the Gift of Friendship’ campaign is encouraging citizens right across Northern Ireland to lend their support in one of two ways – by making a befriending donation to directly support campaign activity, or by signing up to register as a volunteer befriender.

There are over 285,000 older people over the age of 65 living in Northern Ireland – set to grow to more than 600,000 by 2039 – and over 78,000 older people live alone.

As part of its mission to tackle loneliness in the elderly, Volunteer Now has provided more than 3,000 hours of befriending to older people in need right across Northern Ireland since March 2021.

For more information, please visit www.volunteernow.co.uk or follow @VolunteerNow on Facebook or Instagram.