The magic of Christmas

Most people love the idea of Christmas, but not everyone gets to enjoy the day as much as they would like. In fact, for some people it can be a lonely time.

The whole idea behind Community Christmas is to make sure that older people have a place to go to celebrate the festive season. 

It is also to encourage people and organisations in the community to set up events where people can get together and share the joys of the season. Whether it be tea and mince pies, a festive drink or a full Christmas dinner, there is room for all kinds of celebrations.

Christmas Day used to be such a sad, miserable time for me. Now, I could smile all day and enjoy other people’s company.

What's happening this year?

Community Christmas is our Christmas campaign. It aligns with our work throughout the year to help alleviate loneliness in older people through social gatherings.

Continuing the original vision for the project, our plan this year is to:

  • List any public Christmas event on our website that occurs between 18 - 31 December
  • Actively aim to match anyone alone on Christmas day aged 75 and over with a community event 
  • Encourage anyone of any age who will be alone on Christmas Day to use our website to find something in their area they can go to
  • For all those 75 and over who may be alone on or during Christmas, we offer the opportunity to join social gatherings throughout the year through our year-round work 

Frequently Asked Questions

Community Christmas began in 2007 when the Founder Caroline Billington was asked to drive a handy-bus of older ladies to a Christmas Day Lunch. She was overwhelmed by what a small act for her made such a huge difference to the ladies. How happy they were to have been out, how they may have spent Christmas alone, and how they would continue to keep in touch for tea or coffee.  

The experience left a desire to do more and the next year Caroline set up her own Christmas Day lunch, but she felt she could do more. The thought that there were people everywhere who would spend Christmas alone was enough to keep her up at night and in 2011 the birth of Community Christmas as a movement began. She shared her experience and an additional two events were born. 

In 2012 the website was created listing Christmas community activities throughout the UK. It grew from strength to strength and in 2018 when Caroline felt she had taken it as far as she could- she chose us to work in partnership with us and left a legacy for us to continue. With 650 website listings and an additional 102 locations offering companionship and taking enquiries from Community Christmas she handed the reigns to us to continue. 

We have social gatherings throughout the year that you can volunteer for, find out what’s in your area here.  

But if you are interested in volunteering at Christmas, please sign up to our e-newsletter to get first dibs on opportunities as and when they come up.  

Finally, Christmas events in your local area may need volunteers. Find out what’s going on and whether they do on our Community Christmas map. You will find the necessary details to get in touch with them directly. 

Well you have come to the right place. If you or the person you are looking for is under 75 please use the postcode search here, to find out what is going on in your area and get in touch with an event directly.  

If you or the person you are looking for is over 75, please use the online form to apply or give us a call in the office, we will be happy to help 0800 716 543.  

No problem! No matter your age or location please do use our postcode search tool here to find out all the events we know of. Our listings span from the 18th- 31st December and we are regularly updating so please do keep checking. 

It is a bit of a mindful figuring out where to start and we think we have you covered. Take a look at our guide on how to run an event, there is some guidance there, and you can always drop us an email or give a call. You already know you want to do something so now you need to decide when you want it, where, who you have to help you, what you want to do.

The key is to start; you will be surprised how much easier it gets once you take the first step.  

It's simple, register with us! This will allow people to find your event and get in touch you. If your event is suitable for over 75’s we may be in touch to refer people to you for some Christmas fun.

Plenty. Not only is there an entire resource section, but we have dedicated teams at our National Office focused on helping you achieve the best event you can.

If you need tips on fundraising, social media or a general chat on your process, you can find the necessary contact on the contact page and do not hesitate to drop them a line.  

Donate, volunteer, fundraise, get involved in our year-round work, join the mailing lists for new developments that may interest you, or simply spread the word! In the words of influencers; like, share, subscribe.

We also have a support us section dedicated specifically to people like yourself, there may be something for you. 

Money raised helps go a long way to support the events happening up and down the nation throughout the year with resources and guidance. This includes a digital platform to allow a central place for people to find out what happens in their local community around Christmas, supporting the grassroots work happening.

As with all charities a small percentage of money raised goes to our overheads, but most goes to the development of our work (creating new groups, recruiting volunteers). Increasing the number of projects during the year and opportunities for older guests to get out and socialise.

There are two key ways your company can be involved:

  • by making a Christmas donation to support our work or by holding a Community Christmas event of your own. 

Please click here to make an online donation. If you would like advice and ideas on how to raise money, or to discuss what we can do for you in return, our fundraising team would be delighted to talk to you. Contact Sarah Newell on sarah.newell@contacttheelderly.org.uk or 020 7881 2364 to find out more. 

  • If you would like to hold your own Community Christmas event, register here.

We will match up you up with isolated older people in your area who are looking for something to do. For more information and support please call us on 020 7240 0630 for guidance and support for setting up an event.

We don’t currently offer direct volunteering opportunities during Christmas, but we do hope to soon though so please do sign up to our mailing list here.  

You can also apply for one of our many other volunteer roles through the year here.  

If you do want to volunteer this year at an event, please do search our events listings for events near you and whether they are looking for volunteers, you can then get in touch directly and offer your support. 

We don’t, Community Christmas is simply our Christmas campaign. Our wider work runs throughout the year.

We offer social activities through the year and are well known for or Sunday Afternoon teas, but our activities include reading groups, walking cricket and we continue to expand. Our main objective is to help tackle loneliness among people over 75, keeping older people engaged in their communities and establishing friendships between generations. 

Contact us

We have teams across the UK and our national office is in London.

Address

Re-engage
2 Grosvenor Gardens
London
SW1W 0DH

Freephone:

0800 716543

Office phone:

020 7240 0630