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Combatting Loneliness: The Gift of Time This Christmas

Vicky Parry 13th Dec 2022 One Comment

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Combatting loneliness at Christmas can feel like a huge task. Often, when we think of the word loneliness, we detach ourselves from it, we somehow associate it with extreme isolation or not having friends: neither is true, and if the last two years have taught us anything, it is that it can happen to every single one us.

Loneliness is something we can all struggle with. It can mean feeling alone whilst surrounded by people you love, it can be living alone and only having your pet for company, it can be not wanting to trouble friends when you most need them and, for many, it can be being faced with spending Christmas Day alone. Combatting loneliness is a societal need more than ever.


What We Suggest

Last Christmas, MoneyMagpie founder Jasmine Birtles had the idea to spend some of her Christmas day on Zoom as a way of combatting loneliness. Due to lockdown and the physical longing for human interaction that it created, for the first time ever it has become more widely accepted that people talk about loneliness, there was even the government’s encouragement of “{let’s} talk loneliness” but a lot of the advice given during the pandemic assumed that we had people to turn to. The £750 million charity funding appeal to combat loneliness wasn’t necessarily noticeable to so many of us, and lots of businesses, charities and people took matters into their own hands and decided to look at ways to combat this themselves. This is what led to Jasmine opening up her Christmas Day celebrations to people who need some company.

Jasmine said, “Last year everyone was told to stay at home and not visit relatives or friends for Christmas (unless they were a government minister, of course), and it occurred to me that there would be a lot of people who would feel desperately lonely and abandoned. I wanted to give them the opportunity to have their own party and talk and laugh with other normal people at least once during the day. It worked. We had people who were on their own as well as at least one couple who just thought it sounded like a fun thing to do. There was a really nice atmosphere to the event and we had some good giggles!”

How to get involved

Recognising quite how much it was needed, Jasmine has decided to do the same again.

“I’m holding this one at the same time again – 4pm – on Christmas Day,” she says. “Last year’s was supposed to be just an hour but it went on for an hour and half, so I expect this year’s will last that long too.” The link to join is on Eventbrite, here.

So many people showed up last year and Jasmine managed to create a safe environment in which people could just share the day. Recognising that many people struggle socially and that introversion or many factors can make it hard to speak up.

“This party is for people who like to get involved and also for those who would just like to watch and listen incognito. I’ll be doing a fun quiz but it’s only for those who want to take part and I’ll be quite happy if some people simply want to come and be part of the atmosphere but don’t want to talk to strangers. That’s understandable. Let’s face it, ‘in-person’ parties full of people you don’t know can be a daunting prospect, and Zoom parties can be just as worrying to some, so I won’t be forcing anyone to do the quiz or even talk unless they want to.”

So this Christmas, if you are faced with being alone, be sure to join here and have something fun on your festive horizon. We can’t wait to see you!

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2 years ago

It can be very difficult especially at this time of year.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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