The NHS has issued a call for 100,000 people to sign a pledge saying they will look in on an elderly friend or neighbour this winter.
In England, 51 per cent of all people over 75 live alone and five million older people say the television is their main form of company. Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are also harmful to our physical health, with studies indicating that lack of social connections is as likely to cause early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Specifically, the NHS is asking for people to sign an electronic pledge that states: ‘I will take time out this winter to look in on an elderly friend or neighbour to make sure they are warm and coping well.’ Volunteers pledge to visit an elderly person at least weekly and check that they are keeping warm and have adequate food supplies, and to help them get out if they can.
Those who sign the WinterFriends pledge will receive free cold weather alerts and email tips throughout the winter to help them do their bit.
Follow the link below to sign up and help one of your neighbours.