The Chief Executive of Age UK in Sheffield says the city's branch of the charity has seen a big spike in the number of people signing up to volunteer, after the John Lewis Christmas advert aired.
Age UK Sheffield chief executive Steve Chu said: “The response we’ve had to the John Lewis advert has been incredible. On an average month we might get a handful of volunteers getting in touch. After the advert aired we had 80 calls in a single week.”
And the effect of the John Lewis ‘Man on the Moon’ advert, which sought to create awareness of issues in later life such as loneliness, is set to come down to Earth in Sheffield today – as Age UK Sheffield hosts a series of events at the city’s flagship store.
Age UK Sheffield staff will be on hand on the John Lewis shop floor distributing the leaflets and assisting anyone wishing to sign up and volunteer for the Christmas period or into 2016.
Added Steve: “We’re thrilled by how accommodating John Lewis have been for us – they could not have done more and we can’t wait to get involved in three days of activities to raise awareness of the sometimes life changing work we do across Sheffield for over 50s and at the same time raise some much needed funds so we can deliver services right here in Sheffield.
“It’s great the John Lewis advert has raised the profile of issues in later life to such a wide audience – but we must ensure that momentum continues after Christmas and into the New Year, and that we make the most of it here for older people in Sheffield.
Customers will also be able to jump on a static exercise bike to pedal a mile or two and try and ‘bring the Man on the Moon back home’ in time for Christmas with his progress back to Earth monitored onscreen.
There will also be a treasure hunt and maps for children to get involved in the fun activities by searching for gnomes, plus a display in the children’s department including a telescope similar to the one used in the advert.
In response the charity has produced a ‘12 Days of Christmas’ leaflet as a guide for those who want to help Age UK Sheffield.
Steve said: “Our 12 Days of Christmas leaflet lists ways people who want to help can make a difference such as calling in on a neighbour, inviting them round for a mince pie or offering to pick some shopping up for them.”
“As a result we will also be handing out information to John Lewis customers about our ‘Do Something Awesome for Age UK Sheffield’ campaign for 2016 to encourage individuals and businesses to join our ‘Age UK Sheffield army’ and get involved in helping us deliver our work and support.”