THIS Morning fans were moved to tears today when the show reached out to lonely listeners as part of The Sun’s Christmas Together campaign.
Our Agony aunt, Deirdre Deirdre, teamed up with hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield to encourage people to join our army of volunteers and support those feeling cut off and isolated this Christmas.
This Morning reached out to lonely viewers today and teamed up with The Sun’s Christmas Together campaign,
Holly and Phil spoke to pensioner Margaret, who lives alone in Devon and revealed she hadn’t been outside for three months owing to the coronavirus lockdown.
Margaret highlighted how widespread the problem of loneliness is in the run up to Christmas – with This Morning arranging for Josie Gibson to go on a socially distanced walk with her.
Later, a grieving wife called Debbie told Holly and Phil how she struggling with the loss of her husband who was her soulmate, saying she didn’t know what to do.
She said during the show’s phone in: “We were together 25 years and he was the rock of the family. The emptiness has left a massive hole in my life.”
This Morning arranged for lonely pensioner Margaret to go on a socially distanced walk
Josie Gibson met with Margaret from Devon
Our Agony Aunt Deirdre took calls from lonely listeners
The Sun’s Christmas Together campaign
THIS Christmas we are teaming up with the Together Campaign, a coalition of community groups and organisations, and Royal Voluntary Service to combat loneliness.
And we want to recruit an army of volunteers to support those feeling cut off, anxious and isolated, this Christmas.
Could YOU reach out to someone who might be struggling and alone?
It might be someone you know in your own life or community who needs support.
Or we can connect you with someone in need through the NHS Volunteer responder programme run by the NHS, Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app.
Could you give up half an hour to make a call and chat with someone feeling isolated? Or could you volunteer to deliver essential shopping or festive treats?
Go to nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/christmastogether to sign up as a volunteer.
You will then receive an email taking you through the sign up process and be asked to download the responder app which will match you to those in need in your area.
Don’t worry if you don’t get a job straight away, because jobs are matched according to the need local to you. Being ready to help is what really matters.
Viewers were emotional having heard Debbie’s call, and one said: “Oh Debbie, this is incredibly heartbreaking ?. Losing your soulmate – the pain must be unimaginable ?. #ThisMorning”
Another wrote: “Debbie you are not a burden ??? I’m so sorry for your loss”
As one more tweeted: “Feel your pain Debbie, I really do #ThisMorning”
Our columnists have shared their experiences of the chats they have enjoyed as part of our campaign.
The Sun’s most familiar voices, Judge Rinder, Jane Moore, Lorraine Kelly and Karren Brady have joined our Christmas Together campaign.
Loneliness by number
1 in 5 people fear they won’t see anyone over Christmas
37% people know someone who will be spending Christmas alone
16% Brits said they were ‘dreading’ Christmas
52% said they have helped a vulnerable person during the pandemic
4.2 million adults always or often felt lonely during the second national lockdown
£5.9m marked by Government pilot to tackle loneliness
16 to 29-year-olds are twice as likely as the over-70s to be experiencing loneliness in the pandemic
We are shining a spotlight on loneliness and urging readers to lend a hand to those in need this winter, by phoning someone on their own to cheer them up or by helping out with a shopping delivery.
We have teamed up with the Together coalition of community groups and organisations and the Royal Voluntary Service to urge YOU to help.
Along with the Together coalition and the Great Winter Get Together, run by the Jo Cox Foundation, we also want you to reach out to those in your life, be it a neighbour or friend, who might feel lonely.
- Need help? If you are someone who would like a friendly call or you need a helping hand with your shopping, just call 0808 196 3646 (8am-8pm, seven days a week)
How to donate
IF you would like to donate to support the work of the Royal Voluntary Service, text RVS5 to 70570 to donate £5, visit royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/christmasdonate, or call 0800 731 9197 – lines open Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm.
- RVS receives 100 per cent of your donation. Texts cost £5 plus one message at your standard network rate. Always get the bill payer’s permission. UK networks only. The RVS would like to contact the people who text by phone and SMS with campaign updates and new appeals. If you want to give, but don’t want these updates, type NO INFO after RVS5 when making your donation.