christmasRaise a glass to Ember Inns!  Each one of its pubs is allocating a table on Christmas Day to lonely older people from the local community, and giving them a four course Christmas dinner, free of charge!

The pub chain has 130 pubs across the country.  Ember Inns Marketing Manager, Fiona Richardson, said,  ‘At Ember Inns we’re passionate about communities. We all have friends or relatives that live alone and this can be a very tough for them, especially in the run up to Christmas and our pubs are ideally situated in the community to help. Our pubs are all over the UK so lonely older people are sure to have one near them that they can rely on for the perfect Christmas this year.’

Isn’t that wonderful!  Isn’t it enough to make you want to find Ember Inns on the map and pay them a visit?  Next time we travel, my colleagues and I will make a point of finding one.   The website is

New research, carried out by the national pub chain revealed that

40% of older people are relieved when Christmas is over
20% of older people don’t look forward to Christmas Day
3% of older people never received a Christmas present last year

500,000 older people in Britain will spend Christmas Day alone

(Statistics issued by Community Christmas in December 2014)

The worst part about Christmas Day for almost one in 10 older people is spending so much time alone, with a further 11% revealing they get upset when they see other people with families on December 25. Almost one in 10 older people say they expect to be eating a pre-purchased ready meal on Christmas Day this year.

Not lonely here: singing Christmas Carols at Pilgrim Gardens
Not lonely here: singing Christmas Carols at Pilgrim Gardens

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Raise a glass, too, to retired teacher, 86 year old Betty Williams.  Betty hates spending the festive period alone, and knows that others are lonely, too, so she spent £1,000 on a Christmas dinner for forty strangers in a pub in Devon.

Your can see the story, here:

Wellwishers have already donated £4,000 for future Christmas meals.

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Call my bluffThere’s no loneliness in our housing and homes, as you can imagine.  For example, at Pilgrim Gardens, the new build retirement housing in Leicester, there have been Christmas carols and games (Call my Bluff) and other events, organised by residents Les and Marjorie. A delicious spread of German foods was provided by Osy and Kate Waye: Osy is German so knew the best to choose!


 Here’s to a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous and fulfilling New Year!

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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