‘Helping others drives me’: The Sheffield woman making Christmas Day less lonely for the elderly

Sarah Bridge from The Better Together project hosts Christmas Day celebrations for up to 100 people each year.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 3:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 11:57 am
Sarah Bridge, The Better Together Project

A Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, a festive raffle, and gifts for all are just some of the highlights guests can expect.

Sarah said: “Watching our guests smile, dance and sing along and knowing that you've injected a little bit of happiness into their day is incredible and what Christmas is all about.”

Attendees can refer themselves, some are referred from care homes and some through charities.

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“The Better Together is all about the importance of human connection and making sure that less people feel lonely over the festive period.

“Lots of us will experience loneliness or isolation at some point in our lives, so I think it's important to come together as a community and do as much as we can to prevent this, and to make Christmas an enjoyable experience for as many people as possible rather than something that people dread.”

Sarah was inspired after hearing about a similar project.

“I started the project after hearing Gloria Stewart on the radio discussing her Home Alone Project,” Sarah said.

“She explained that she offers a christmas lunch to people experiencing loneliness in Sheffield. The next day, I found Gloria's number and called to ask if she minded me setting up my own project, and the rest is history.

“When she was talking about how many people were affected by loneliness at christmas and the impact that her annual christmas party had on her guests, something resonated with me and I knew I had to take action.”

This year, the guests will receive cards written by people all across Sheffield, thanks to the Christmas Card Project.

In collaboration with Better Together, Artist Josephine Dellow held a pop up shop in the Winter Gardens from December 2 to December 8 for people to drop in and write a card to make a difference.

“I hate the thought of anyone being on their own at any time of the year, but especially Christmas. It was a no-brainer and something that I knew my late gran who was a huge Christmas fan would be proud of,” she added.