A charity is calling for the Sutton community to help in the fight against loneliness this winter amid the ongoing restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Age UK Sutton are calling on residents in the borough to contribute to their efforts to support the lonely this Christmas by taking one of a number of measures to help them lift isolated people’s spirits during the darkest weeks and months of the year.

The charity provide independent support, advice, and essential services across Sutton.

This week they released an appeal stating that they “urgently” needed help to “meet the high demand for services they experience every year, and which is even greater due to coronavirus.”

A man who was previously helped out by the charity spoke out about the support they had given him thanks to their outreach work:

“I can believe in Age UK Sutton,” Sutton man Lee said.

“I had total faith and total trust that they were looking after me, they were concerned about me, if they said they were going to do something for me, they would do it,” he added.

“It was like a lifeline.”

A recent study funded by the telecommunications giant Vodaphone suggested that loneliness in the UK could become a “second pandemic” in the country by 2030.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), almost half of all UK residents (45 per cent) felt loneliness at some point (2016-2017). Their data showed that16 per cent of adults in the UK reported feeling lonely sometimes and 24 per cent occasionally, while a full 5 per cent of the population feel lonely often or always.

Meanwhile, the need for quarantine, isolation and shielding measures is widely thought to have had a detrimental impact on the situation across 2020.

To that end, Age UK in Sutton are hoping to counteract the impact of a lonely Christmas by doubling down their efforts to reach out to people in the borough.

A number of measures can be taken by residents to help support them in those efforts, the charity pointed out, inluding:

•Make a donation to their Christmas fundraising appeal

•Buy Age UK Sutton’s Christmas Cards

•Donate treats for their festive goody bags

•Take part in their ‘Cards of Joy’ letter writing project

“Christmas is always a tough time for older people who are isolated, lonely, or in need of help - this year it’s even more of a challenge,” Age UK’s Sutton CEO Nicola Upton said.

“That’s why we are asking our community for help to ensure we can make a difference now, and into 2021. Like all charities, we’ve experienced greater demand than ever, with limited funds available.

“Without support and donations, we simply can’t do all that is needed,” she added.

Find out more about how you can help by visiting the Age UK Sutton website here.

To apply for help from Age UK Sutton for yourself or a relative, email info@ageuksutton.org.uk or call 0208 0780002.