When Peter lost his wife of 55 years, it was like a huge part of him died too. He and Deirdre did everything together, so I’m sure you can imagine how much he missed her that first Christmas on his own.

Alone and grieving, he couldn’t face putting the decorations up or preparing a Christmas dinner on his own. In fact, there were times when Peter felt that a life without Deirdre wasn’t worth living. As he explained, “On one or two occasions, I missed Deirdre so much that I thought about ending my life.”

Thousands of older people like Peter are facing Christmas on their own.

In the UK, 3.64 million people over the age of 65 live alone – and Christmas can be the loneliest time of year for many of them. Especially if, like Peter, they’re dealing with the loss of a loved one.

But there is a way to light up an older person’s Christmas with friendship and support.

By sending a gift to our Christmas Appeal today, you can help fund friendship visits to more lonely older people by fully trained Independent Age volunteers.

Over the festive season, and throughout the year, our volunteers regularly visit or phone isolated older people like Peter – giving them that human contact we all need, especially at Christmas.