This Christmas we're asking you to give the gift of friendship. Half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all and Christmas is a particularly difficult time.
Our Christmas film, narrated by the BBC Radio 2 drivetime presenter Sara Cox, features Barbara, who is in her mid-nineties. Barbara joined the forces in 1944, working as a special wireless operator and a telephone operator. Part of her job was to take down morse code signals which were then decoded at Bletchley Park.
Barbara's husband passed away six years ago.
'We were married for 67 years when he died. I didn't know what to do with myself', she said.
Barbara feared she’d be isolated at home, but through Re-engage she’s found companionship, friends and hope.
Across the UK, Re-engage tea party groups bring older people together, breaking the cycle of loneliness and bringing joy back into their lives.
Our volunteer led call companion befriending service provides vital, life-enhancing social connections for older people.
As the ageing population grows, so does the epidemic of loneliness - but it can be tackled by providing regular social contact, the lifeline of friendship and, vitally, a regular date in the diary.
A big thank you to Re-engage tea party host and BBC Radio 2 Drivetime host Sara Cox for providing the voiceover for Barbara's story. And thank you to the Enfield and Southgate tea party group for allowing us to show others the love and companionship that you provide for Barbara.
Watch our film here and find out how you can help us give more people like Barbara something to look forward to, this Christmas and beyond.
Meet Re-engage volunteer Alicia
Alicia is in her early 50's and lives in Saddleworth. She works full-time from home and has three grown up children and a dog that always wants to be walked. She has been volunteering for Re-engage for four years and is a tea party group coordinator, host and driver.
Omicron variant of Covid
Over the last two years, as the Covid situation has evolved and changed across the various nations,
Re-engage has put out consistent guidance: follow the rules that are set out by the government where you live.