Spread a little kindness this Christmas

This Christmas, we’re encouraging you to spread a little kindness and make a difference to someone’s life as part of the next phase of United in Kind – a social movement aiming to bring communities across Essex together to help reduce social isolation.

The festive season can be an incredibly lonely time for many people, with over half a million elderly people saying they expect to feel lonely at Christmas. However, little acts of kindness can help to increase people’s sense of community and belonging.

People just like Dorothy who, thanks to the Harwich Bereavement and Friendship Club, was able to make new friends after the loss of her husband. The club has made a real difference to her life and given her the opportunity to get out and about and enjoy the festive period.

Dorothy said: “I moved into my new sheltered home while I was grieving and arranging a funeral. I didn’t know anyone here at first but when I started attending the Friendship Club it changed everything.”

Similarly, in Bicknacre, Shirley and Dennis are proof of the role that communities have in supporting local people who are isolated or lonely. Shirley moved from Kent to Bicknacre around six years ago to be near her daughter after her husband died. She met Dennis at the Bicknacre Friendship Club three years ago and they have since become firm friends.

She said: “I didn’t know anyone in the village but moving here was the best thing I ever did. Dennis and I are great friends, we do a lot of things together and it’s lovely to have someone else to cook for. Our friends Martin and Molly have also become a couple through the group.”

In a world where people are more connected than ever, no one deserves to feel alone, especially at Christmas. So why not pledge to do something kind for someone this festive season? More information about United in Kind can be found at www.unitedinkind.org.