LONELINESS at Christmas is being tackled head on by a residential care home in Cirencester, which is throwing open its doors on Christmas Day.

Ashley House Bupa Care Home on Trafalgar Road has partnered with Community Christmas, a national initiative that believes no elderly person in the UK should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be.

Elderly people facing Christmas alone can enjoy a free lunch at Ashley House from 12pm.

Demelza James, general manager at Ashley House said: “We know loneliness is a growing issue for elderly people, at Christmas and all year round.It’s great that we are in a position to support Community Christmas by opening our doors on Christmas Day to offer our elderly community somewhere they can enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner and some festive fun in the company of others.

“I know our residents are looking forward to welcoming some new faces to the table on Christmas Day.”

Ashley House is not alone in helping to combat loneliness for elderly people in the Cotswolds.

Abbeyfield homes in Cirencester, Stow on the Wold and Bourton are for the eighth year running opening their doors over the entire festive period to elderly local residents to provide Christmas cheer with Companionship at Christmas events.

Nikki Browning from Abbeyfield in Gloucestershire said: “We open our doors to local communities to come in. It might just be a hot drink or a meal or even just a chat that they want. It is for the whole Christmas period. Helping to reduce loneliness is very much in keeping with the ethos of our founder.”

Founder of Community Christmas, said: “I think it’s really important to emphasise that anyone can host an event, it doesn’t have to involve cooking a Christmas feast for 20 people. It could just mean arranging tea and Christmas cake at a local village hall, or singing Christmas carols in the pub.

“It’s anything that gets people together in the community who otherwise might be alone on Christmas.”

For more details about the event at Ashley House call 0808 115 4520. Visit abbeyfield.com to find more details of Companionship at Christmas.