The Inn Collection Group recently held a free Christmas party for more than 100 older people who live alone in County Durham.
The north east pub operator joined forces with older people’s charity The Abbeyfield Society and Age UK County Durham to hold the free Christmas party at its Durham city pub The Kingslodge Inn.
The event was held in support of Abbeyfield’s annual #CompanionshipatChristmas campaign, which provides vulnerable and isolated people aged over 55 with free overnight stays at Abbeyfield houses and homes as well as free meals, entertainment and, critically, companionship in the build up to Christmas and beyond.
“It’s wonderful being able to spread festive cheer like this among those who really do need it the most,” says Paul Brown, operations manager at The Inn Collection Group.
“One guest struggles with speech as he doesn’t talk on a regular basis because he has no one to speak to for days on end. It is heart-breaking and we wanted to do something about this.
“We were so moved by Abbeyfield’s Companionship at Christmas campaign we wanted to do our bit to make a difference and help tackle the stigma many people feel about being lonely, especially at Christmas when it’s portrayed as being all about families and togetherness. It’s so hard for those people who are completely alone.
“We are proud to be working together with Abbeyfield and Age UK County Durham to make a difference to the lives of older people living alone– not just during the Christmas season, but for the rest of the year, too, and will be looking to roll out more inclusive events for isolated people across our estate of inns.”