Make A Meal Of It: Christian charities in fight against loneliness

A coalition of faith-based charities has launched a campaign to tackle isolation among older people.

Christians Together Against Loneliness is aimed at helping older people in particular who might feel isolated or cut off from wider society.

The Great Get Together/FacebookCommunity meals like those sponsored by The Great Get Together have been highly successful.

It is an initiative of several charities including Livability, The Salvation Army, and Pilgrims' Friend.

It says that with more than 50 per cent of those aged over 75 living alone, older people are at a greater risk of isolation.

It also cites research showing 41 per cent of people aged 65 and over in the UK feel out of touch with the pace of modern life and 12 per cent say they feel cut off from wider society.

Building on the success of community lunches run by The Great Get Together and The Big Lunch, the coalition is promoting a resource called Make A Meal Of It, which supports churches and local agencies in running a community meal with older people. It encourages churches to build long-term relationships rather than offering a one-off experience.

The pack contains ideas on how to plan the meal, who to involve, how to connect, creative ideas for the day and ideas for follow-up.

Livability spokesman Corin Pilling said: 'A community works best when it's made up of people from many different backgrounds. We're keen for a wide range of people to come along to a meal where they can celebrate life together, old and young. It's important that no-one feels labelled as lonely but instead knows they are being invited to be part of something that is good for everybody.'

The resource is available for free download from the Livability website.

Lifestyle