Cllr Keith Mackman:”Something we often neglect to give, is time”.

Christmas is almost upon us, the season of goodwill to all men, a time to indulge in all manner of food, drink and entertainment. But how many of us spare a thought for the elderly who are spending Christmas on their own? How hard would it be to check on an old neighbour and see that they are OK, wish them Merry Xmas and let them know that someone cares?

I have an old peoples’ home at the end of my road, obviously the problem of loneliness is less likely to occur there but I still plan to go along with a card, a box of biscuits and a bottle of sherry. This country is not spectacularly good at caring for our elderly, I have personal experience of hospitals discharging aged patients late at night to go home alone. Once, the old man I was tasked to take home was so unwell that I simply took him out to the paramedics and handed him over. Interestingly, they did not hesitate to put him in a wheelchair, on oxygen, and they were very solicitous. Shame the nurse who handed him over to me wasn’t quite so caring.

Christmas is a time for giving, something we often neglect to give is time. Take the time to send an extra card, make a phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to for months. Smile at a stranger and remember that Christmas is about more than stuffing ourselves with turkey and mince pies, it’s about connecting with others.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.