SOMERSET County Council is encouraging everyone to look out for their neighbours and help support them this Christmas.
A council spokesperson said: “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic will mean that many elderly and those living alone could again feel isolated this year.
“So, it is more important than ever to embrace the Christmas spirit by checking in with your neighbours and letting them know help is available.”
Cllr Clare Paul, the council’s member responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “Christmas is a time of giving and at this special time of the year I encourage everyone to give the gift of support and let their neighbours know that they are not on their own and that you are there to help.
“Even a small gesture of help can make a huge difference to someone who may find this time of the year a challenge.”
The spokesperson added: “There are many things you can do to lift a neighbour’s spirits; be it dropping in a Christmas card or giving them your telephone number in case they need anything. Let them know you are there if they need some shopping picked up or a prescription collected.
“Just a chat on the doorstep and the knowledge that someone is thinking of them may be enough to brighten up their day.
“Don’t forget that there is a huge network of support in place to help people in Somerset this Christmas too.
“Everyone’s mental wellbeing changes throughout their life, but it’s important not to just put up with poor mental health. If you’re concerned about how you are feeling, please speak to your GP or visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/
“Mindline is a confidential listening service that is open 24 hours a day – 01823 334906. They can give emotional support and provide access to mental health services if required.
“The Somerset Coronavirus helpline, 0300 790 6275, will is available seven days a week from 8am to 6pm. The contact centre staff can give advice on financial support, personal care, food and prescription deliveries, housing, social care and medical transport.
“For information on other local organisations that can help visit Somerset Choices www.somersetchoices.org.uk and search ‘loneliness’.
“If you are, or know someone, older who needs support it can be found at www.ageuk.org.uk/