Combating Loneliness, Don't Dine Alone this Christmas

Don't Dine Alone is Barchester's annual campaign to bring communities together to ensure no one eats alone this winter.

Loneliness has been described as one of the biggest issue affecting our society, and Age UK estimates that 1.9 million people feel invisible. This is concerning at any time of year but as the temperatures drop and the festive season draws closer, this isolation can become dangerous both mentally and physically.

Thousands of people are at risk of spending Christmas Day alone. In support, many Barchester homes throughout the UK will be opening up their doors this Christmas to older, lonely people over the festive period, who are welcome to stop in for their Christmas meal.

Our hospitality teams will be putting on a spread to remember, with home-made cakes and pastries, and a mix of classic traditional dishes paired with dishes inspired by resident favourites, Christmas at Barchester is one of our most celebrated occasions.

Festivities usually begin with the lighting of the tree, and the various departments across the homes will be planning and accommodating for friends and relatives popping into visit, some homes even get a visit from Santa and his reindeers!

Across the 200 Barchester care homes, Don’t Dine Alone is an initiative close to everyone’s heart. Jessica Salway, General Manager at Rothsay Grange Care Home in Hampshire, said: “Unfortunately, loneliness is a huge problem in many areas. If we can help just a small number of people make new friends and enjoy a good meal in friendly company then it will have been worthwhile. We have a lot of fun during Christmas time, and there is always an extra place and enough food for neighbours and friends.”

Each home's Head Chef will be preparing a range of dishes to suit the varied dietary needs and preferences. There will also be games, and a selection of drinks on hands so the fun doesn't need to stop after pudding is servedIt's hoped that this small gesture will help reach some of the most isolated and vulnerable members of society and encourage them to make the most of the social opportunities locally.

To find your nearest Barchester care home click here.