Create a #MincePieMoment to tackle loneliness this Christmas

13 December 2017

South Cambridgeshire residents are being urged to share a mince pie with someone they know is lonely or isolated this festive season.

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 1.2 million older people around the UK experience chronic loneliness. Nine in ten people in Cambridgeshire are said to believe that being alone in older age is now ‘more likely than ever’.

Further research from the Campaign reveals that more than 70% of people in Cambridgeshire have felt lonely, but around 80% of over‐65s say they would find it hard to admit feeling this way because they don’t want to be a burden to others.

Now, South Cambridgeshire District Council is calling on residents to make a conscious effort to contact someone they know is alone, share some mince pies with them, and, with permission, post a picture of their #MincePieMoment on social media to encourage others to do the same.

The campaign is the latest push in the Council’s efforts to tackle loneliness in South Cambridgeshire villages. Other steps being taken by the authority include:

  • Teaming up with the Campaign to End Loneliness to officially launch the Campaign in Cambridgeshire. An event at Madingley Hall this week saw leading industry figures, including representatives from the Council, come together to kick-start discussions on how to tackle loneliness locally

  • Paying for a non-medical member of staff to be placed at the Granta Medical Practice, which serves Sawston, Linton and surrounding villages, who will give support to people who return for regular GP appointments as they want someone to talk to. This project, called ‘through the door’, is also designed to help people find social activities which stop them being lonely, and takes their minds off their ailments

  • A £20,000 fund that community groups can bid for, to be used to pay for Mobile Wardens, who visit older residents to help them live independently at home, for longer

Cllr Sue Ellington, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We’re determined to make an impact in tackling loneliness across South Cambridgeshire – and Christmas is the perfect time for us all to start making a difference.

“It’s particularly sad if people are alone at this time of year, so a simple act like going to share a mince pie can bring some real comfort.

“Whether it be tasty treats being shared between neighbours, relatives or friends, I can’t wait to see some local #MincePieMoment posts on social media.”

The #MincePieMoment project is being spearheaded nationally by The Great Get Together, a campaign set up in memory of Jo Cox. It encourages communities to come together and share mince pies to brighten someone’s Christmas as part of The Great Christmas Get Together.

Residents of South Cambridgeshire are asked to send their #MincePieMoment posts to the Council’s Twitter (@SouthCambs) or Facebook (search for ‘South Cambridgeshire’) pages or email them to communications@scambs.gov.uk.

A montage of local #MincePieMoments will then be created and published.