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Christmas is a time for celebration, for family and friends. As we look forward to relaxing with loved ones and enjoying the festivities, I’d like to talk to you about an issue which affects, sadly a large proportion of disabled people and carers, especially at Christmas time – loneliness.

Many disabled people tell us of the hours and days they spend by themselves, with no family or friends nearby. Likewise for carers, whose responsibilities last 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with barely any time for socialising or taking a break. For them, Christmas is no different to any other time of year.

Loneliness and isolation is something many people face as a result of giving or receiving care and what’s upsetting is that as many as eight out of 10 carers have felt lonely or isolated as a result of caring. Likewise, one in four disabled people say they feel lonely most days.

This is why our centres remain open throughout the Christmas period. Our guests and carers can leave their worries behind them and draw strength from the warmth and companionship of a Revitalise break during this magical time of year, enabling them to start the New Year with renewed hope and vigour.

One of our guests, Yvonne, wrote to us about her situation and the reasons why she wanted to take a Revitalise break:

“I am not married and do not have a partner or children. I rarely see my friends and my parents are no longer living. My sister lives far away from me and I often feel isolated and lonely. The last time I visited Revitalise, I made friends and visited places I hadn’t been to before; I had great fun with Sarah, the volunteer who looked after me during my stay.”

Sadly, Yvonne’s situation is not uncommon. The majority of disabled people and carers will not get a break this Christmas but we are determined that everybody who wants to take a Revitalise break should be able to regardless of circumstance, at Christmas time and all year round.

This is why we urgently need your help this Festive Season. Please support our Christmas Campaign and help us alleviate loneliness this Christmas.

With best wishes for a Happy Christmas.

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Dame Esther Rantzen DBE
Revitalise Vice President

 

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