Kettering charity shop aiming to tackle loneliness

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A Kettering charity shop has launched an initiative to tackle loneliness after a survey suggested two in five Northamptonshire residents often feel alone.

The British Red Cross is calling on people in the county to send a message of support to someone in their community who may be alone this festive season after the new research.

From today (November 26) until December 10, the Red Cross shop in Gold Street, Kettering, is offering a free Christmas card with every pack bought in store, and is asking shoppers to show their kindness by writing a message to someone receiving support from the charity.

This small act of kindness could help show someone in your community you’re thinking of them this season.

Chris Bailey, senior service manager for independent living at the British Red Cross in Northamptonshire, said: “Every one of us would want someone to reach out to us if we found ourselves all alone.

“People who need our help may be closer than we think, and could feel much more connected if we offer them our kindness.

“By sending a message of support to someone in your community who may be alone this festive season, you can help let them know you’re thinking of them.”

The charity polled more than 4,000 UK adults and of those polled in Northamptonshire almost two in five (39 per cent) said they often feel alone, like they have no-one to turn to.

Almost half (48 per cent) of people said their neighbours are like strangers to them.

A third (32 per cent) of those who do have people they feel close to or can rely on said those people live far away from them.

And a quarter (24 per cent) said they don’t have friends they feel close to or can talk to.

Mr Bailey added: “Loneliness and social isolation doesn’t discriminate.

“Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, meaning it can happen to anyone, no matter your age or background.

“We all need someone to turn to in a crisis, but the findings of our research suggest that there are many people in our communities feeling they lack meaningful, human connections.”

Last year the British Red Cross supported more than 291,600 people in crisis across the UK, giving them someone they could turn to in their hour of need.

The cards will be sent to a local Connecting Communities service, provided in partnership with the Co-Op, which helps support adults in the community who are experiencing or at risk of loneliness.

If anyone would like to send a greetings card to a member of their community who might be feeling lonely or isolated this festive season, they can drop their card into the British Red Cross shop at 60 Gold Street, Kettering NN16 8JB.

Alternatively they can text KINDNESS to 70141 and donate £5 to help make sure support is there for those who need it most.