Gift Wrapping a Smile

Loneliness is a subjective feeling and, if persistent, can have a significant negative impact on well-being and quality of life. The Campaign to End Loneliness states that 9% of older people report that they feel cut off from society, whilst 7% of people aged 50+ living in England (equating to around 1.4 million people) often feel lonely. These figures are both daunting and heart-breaking; however, small acts can still make a big difference!

To this end, in 2019 CHR joined forces with Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to bring some joy and holiday festivity to around 100 people. Age UK aims to reduce social isolation by bringing people together, providing opportunities to meet others and develop friendships. As part of our Christmas CSR initiatives, CHR purchased gifts that were wrapped by our London and Cambridge teams and tagged with handwritten cards. The gifts were distributed by Age UK, with most of them going to people who are not able to visit any of the day centres.

A small act of kindness from our CHR team helped a few people feel less lonely at Christmas, letting them know that someone is thinking of them and bringing a smile to their faces.

“I’m still using my lovely blanket, although the weather’s warmer now and I probably don’t need it as much, I still like to have it on me. It’s lovely to think there are people out there who are thinking of people like me and being so generous”

“I never expected to receive a Christmas present before! How extraordinary! It was such a surprise. People really are so nice…”

“I just wanted to thank the people who gave me that lovely present at Christmas, your colleague came round with it and said they had been issued with presents for elderly people and mine was a book on puzzles and I was so pleased with it because it was just what I wanted! Do thank those that did the parcels for us, it was lovely.”