Needle time is the key to knitting fresh friendships for Stevenage old folk, say Aled and Abbeyfield

Aled Jones is the campaign ambassador for Abbeyfield's Coping At Christmas campaign

Aled Jones is the campaign ambassador for Abbeyfield's Coping At Christmas campaign - Credit: Archant

Older people in Stevenage are knitting up fresh friendships this Christmas that will last long after the final strand of tinsel is taken down.

The Big Christmas Knit, organised by older people’s housing and care charity The Abbeyfield Society, which has a base in the town’s Pound Avenue, isn’t just about making something cosy to wear over the winter months, but about creating companionship for lonely older people in the community.

Abbeyfield hosts ‘knit and natter’ clubs to welcome people into a warm, homely environment – the charity says that research has found that 49 per cent of older people say that the company of others would be one of the best gifts they could receive. The figures highlight the loneliness and isolation so many older people face during what should be one of the happiest times of the year.

Abbeyfield also tackles isolation and loneliness with its annual Coping at Christmas campaign.

Now in its fifth year, Coping at Christmas – this year backed by singer, TV and radio presenter Aled Jones as campaign ambassador – sees Abbeyfield houses across the country open up their doors to offer free events, festive meals, overnight stays and good company and friendship to over-55s who would otherwise be facing the prospect of spending Christmas alone.

To find out more call 01727 734 066.

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