Good Morning Britain launched their new 1 Million Minutes campaign today with a poignant film called ‘Time is a Gift’ by the film-maker behind this year’s viral hit, ‘Love is a Gift’, an alternative John Lewis advert that cost only £50 to produce.
Since it began, the award-winning 1 Million Minutes campaign has encouraged viewers to pledge their time to help a friend, family member or someone in their community who is lonely. This can be done individually or by volunteering with one of the 1 Million Minutes charity partners.
Across 2016 and 2017, a total of 64.7 million minutes were pledged. This year, Good Morning Britain is working alongside Contact the Elderly, Cruse Bereavement Care and Grief Encounter.
More than one in five people say that loneliness is the hardest thing to deal with after the death of a loved one, and older people who have experienced the death of a partner are up to four times more likely to experience depression.
Last year, over half a million older people experienced the loss of someone close to them. In conjunction with Good Morning Britain, Contact the Elderly (now Re-engage) are calling on people across the UK to pledge their time and volunteer to support a local, socially isolated older person.
Meryl Davies, Chief Executive of Contact the Elderly, said: “Christmas is seen as a time of joy and celebration but for many people – especially those who have lost a loved one – it can be one of the loneliest times of the year. Nearly half a million older people face spending the festive period alone this year, many of whom have been widowed.
“Contact the Elderly has been fighting isolation and loneliness among older people for more than 50 years and we are proud to work with Good Morning Britain on its 1 Million Minutes campaign. If we all pledged just 60 minutes of our time to help someone in our community who will be alone this Christmas, it could make a huge difference to many, many lives.”
If you’d like more information on how to volunteer visit our volunteering page.
Note - Contact the Elderly is now Re-engage
Volunteering keeps me humble and reminds me of what is important
Batul from Croydon started volunteering with us seven years ago as a driver after her Grandmother passed away.
Contact the Elderly (now Re-engage) to merge with Community Christmas
The Community Christmas website lists events taking place across the UK that are open to older, vulnerable people in the community who would otherwise be spending Christmas Day alone.