This winter will be the hardest that older people have experienced in recent years. They will face the annual struggle with the hardship and loneliness of colder, darker winter months but this year they are also coping with fear, distress and uncertainty brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As winter approaches and with a significant drop already in temperatures, we are already receiving more calls for help from those most at risk, most vulnerable, most isolated and most likely to be already making the choice between turning the heating up or putting food on the table. Our Tier 3 status means that help, visits and support from friends and family may not be possible and many older people will be alone this Christmas.

Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland is determined that our older people will not be forgotten this winter and have launched a campaign to remind the people of Leicestershire and Rutland that older people still need our practical support and befriending without which this festive season could be the loneliest that they have ever experienced.

We are calling for the public’s support to help us meet the predicted huge demand for our services which will keep older people fed, connected, supported and cared for.

We urgently need cash donations to keep our befrienders available at the end of the phone, our crisis response centre stocked with food and our project workers delivering the services that make the difference between struggling alone or coping with the support of a listening ear or friendly face.

Our ‘Not Forgotten This Winter’ campaign shares the personal journeys of some of our local older people in recent months – their experiences, challenges, frailties and fears – expressed in their own words. It also shares the stories of staff and volunteers who have been at the frontline making sure that older people receive the support they have needed.

During this time…

We have helped over 6,700 older people

We have made over 18,800 befriending calls

We have made over 2,400 food parcel deliveries and shopping trips

We have taken over 7,700 calls to our emergency helpline

We are asking people to watch these personal stories on our website and on social media and to dig deep and make a difference to older people in their neighbourhood by donating to our campaign.

Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland has stood alongside local older people since the first lockdown in March. We can continue to do this, but not without you – the public of Leicestershire and Rutland.

Donations can be made in cash or cheque (payable to Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland) to our Head Office (Lansdowne House, 113 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7LA) or at our shops and community resource centres in Leicester, Earl Shilton and Melton Mowbray.

You can also donate online by visiting our website and clicking on the donate button or on our Not Forgotten this Winter Virgin Money Giving page :

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