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Mayor of Bournemouth urges people to befriend an elderly neighbour
THE mayor of Bournemouth has urged people to make a New Year’s resolution to befriend an elderly neighbour.
The town’s first citizen was struck by how many elderly and lonely people attended Salvation Army events on Christmas Day.
Now Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts is asking people to consider reaching out to older people who may be living with loneliness.
The mayor visited the Salvation Army Boscombe Corps’ Christmas Day lunch in Palmerston Road and the Winton Corps’ Christmas Day party at The Place Next Door Community Centre in Latimer Road.
Cllr Stanley-Watts told the Daily Echo: “Last year there were a lot more very elderly people living on their own and a lot of lonely elderly people.
“I think for a New Year’s Resolution, people should befriend an elderly neighbour if they’ve got someone living next door to them on their own.
“I met a 94-year-old lady living on her own with no family whatsoever.
“A large number of volunteers help the Salvation Army run and I would like to thank those volunteers. The Salvation Army do a lot of good work this time of the year.”
He said people came from many different areas of Bournemouth to the Christmas day celebration party in Winton.
“There’s such a need for this place in the community in Bournemouth but also there are a lot of residents out there that, if they’re living next door to elderly people, could befriend them,” he added.
Recent research found many pensioners have no relatives living near them and some have absolutely no family at all.
Half of over-75s see family members less than once a month and only a quarter have weekly visits.
Research by the Centre for the Modern Family discovered 43 per cent of people over-60 lived alone and 48 per cent had no family living locally, while 25 per cent said they had no relatives at all.