Girls at The Queen’s School have pledged to support the older generation by helping to raise funds for local charity, Age UK Cheshire this Christmas.
After learning about the chronic loneliness that many older people experience during the festive period, the pupils decided to take action and made contact with local older people’s charity Age UK Cheshire. Hearing about the hard work that the charity does to help relieve the isolation and despair felt by so many people, the girls were inspired to get creative about their fundraising efforts.
The pupils (and maybe even a teacher or two!) are filming pieces of music, poetry, jokes and dance that will be used in a digital advent calendar with the charity revealing a new clip each day in the run up to Christmas and encouraging people to donate to help them continue their work. The Cheshire-based charity estimates that over 138,000 older people in the North West are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas.
Sue Wallace-Woodroffe, Headmistress of The Queen's School said that children at the school are encouraged to give back to society throughout their school life and beyond and that this culture of kindness was something both she and the girls are proud of.
She said: “Family, community, a genuine commitment to giving back and wanting to help others has always underpinned who we are and what we do at Queen’s. So, as we entered into another lockdown where many people will feel alone or isolated yet again, we wanted to do something that would help bring awareness to Age UK’s important message. This is part of a larger school initiative where we will be partnering with care homes and charitable organisations both in Chester and beyond to develop a long term relationship that sees our pupils from all year groups connect with people living in care homes and local residents to make a real difference in their lives.
"I think all of us could do with an extra bit of love and support in our lives right now and this is something our staff, parents and pupils are passionate about too. I really hope that by us getting involved with Age UK Cheshire that we can help support those who most need it and continue the important lesson of connection, kindness and giving back.
"We really hope that everyone enjoys opening each day’s advent calendar window and watching the performances by our girls, staff and parents. And more importantly, consider making that valuable donation to Age UK Cheshire and their work. Having seen the response to this initiative, I know that our girls are already looking forward to our next collaboration.”
Throughout the pandemic Age UK Cheshire has been supporting people with telephone befriending calls, collecting groceries, and making sure that people are safe and well. While they have seen the demand for help with food reduce, the number of people contacting them in distress at being lonely has continued to increase.
Dale Maskell, CEO of Age UK Cheshire said that across the UK more than two million older people are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas.
He said: “This seems set to be a festive period like we have never experienced before, and not one any of us would want to navigate on our own. At the best of times, Christmas can be bitter-sweet for many older people, but this year they are going to need our support even more than usual. At Age UK Cheshire we were thrilled to be contacted by the pupils at The Queen’s School to help us with our fundraising efforts. We want to be there with anyone who finds themselves lonely this winter, but we can only do it with the public's support, so please do donate to our festive campaign this year if you can."
This winter will be like no other, yet far too many older people are facing this challenging and uncertain time alone. To find out how you can support Age UK Cheshire by donating go to: https://ageukcheshire.enthuse.com/cf/christmas2020
Older people and their families or friends who need support can call Age UK Cheshire on 01606 881 660 or visit www.ageukcheshire.org.uk.
The advent calendar windows will be shared each day on social media channels:
Age UK Cheshire Twitter: @AgeUKCheshire
Age UK Cheshire Facebook: @AgeUKCheshire
Age UK Cheshire Instagram: ageukcheshire
The Queen’s School Twitter: @TheQueensSchool
The Queen’s School Facebook: @TheQueensSchool
The Queen’s School Instagram: thequeensschoolchester