Home Christmas and New Year in Knowsley Don’t be lonely this Christmas

Don’t be lonely this Christmas

by Cathy Sheel

The festivities can be a very exciting time of the year for some, but for others it can be a particularly lonely time.

Loneliness can happen at any time, affect anyone and be caused by a number of factors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, spending less time with family and friends has led to more feelings of loneliness than usual for lots of us – particularly for those who have been isolating or shielding.

How can I help somebody who is feeling lonely?

Everyone can play their part by keeping an eye on their vulnerable residents and neighbours and just checking that they are okay. Having a chat or asking them if they need any help with their shopping will mean a great deal to people.

What help is there if I’m feeling lonely?

There are lots of community groups and volunteering opportunities in Knowsley for residents who’d like to get more involved in their local community.  Further information is available on the Live Well Directory at www.thelivewelldirectory.com.

For advice about what you can do if you feel lonely during the pandemic visit: Coping with loneliness during COVID-19 – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

There’s also the Silverline dedicated telephone line (0800 4708 090) for older people who need information, friendship and advice.

Age UK also offer a range of advice and support through their website or you can call their advice line on 0800 055 6112 – lines are open 9am to 7pm, 365 days a year.  You can also sign up for a regular friendship call.

MIND’s website explains loneliness, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support. In addition, the Samaritans are available 365 days a year if you are worried about something or feeling lonely.  You can contact them on freephone 116 123.

There’s a 24/7 urgent mental health crisis helpline number for people of all ages in need of urgent mental health support – 0800 051 1508.

Kind to Your Mind was developed for people who live or work in Cheshire and Merseyside and offers a range of useful resources to support your mental health and wellbeing.

TEXT “SHOUT” to 87258 for free, confidential, anonymous support 24/7 via text message.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Most people will feel lonely at some point in their lives, and this has particularly been the case during the pandemic.  It’s a deeply personal experience that, in most cases, will thankfully pass, but for others, it can have a significant impact on their wellbeing.

“The main thing is that help and support is available at the touch of a button or by picking up the phone.  We can all play our part too by keeping a look-out for our vulnerable neighbours and relatives and just making sure that they are okay.”