UK

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015: How You Can Help The Elderly This Christmas

06/11/2015 09:35 GMT | Updated 06/11/2015 10:59 GMT

One million elderly people across Britain live on their own and 500,000 of them are expected to spend this Christmas Day alone.

This year's John Lewis advert tells the story of a little girl who tries to help an elderly man, that ends with the words: 'Show Someone They're Loved This Christmas'.

It encourages shoppers to show love and support to the older people and was praised by charities for raising the issue, which coincided with revelation that the number of people aged 45 to 64 living alone has risen by a quarter in a decade.

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If you watched the advert - which is to say if you are alive and have the Internet - and were inspired to do something help, here's what you can do:

Friends Of The Elderly, which campaigns to end loneliness at Christmas for older people, is accepting donations here.

A £5 donation would pay for a Christmas card and gift, £25 would pay for an older person to attend one of the charity's Christmas lunch with entertainment at a day centre, £50 would train one of its volunteers to befriend eight lonely older people and £100 would pay to run the charity's Phoning Friends Service, where volunteers telephone elderly people to form friendships, for a day.

Age UK, the country's largest charity for the elderly, points out that a million older people have not spoken to a family member, friend or neighbour in at least a month.

You can donate to them, funding their dedicated Advice Line for elderly people to call and their research and campaigning into the issue of older people's loneliness.

They also encourage people to raise money for them and offer advice on how to do this.

Esther Jackson, marketing and fundraising director at Age UK said of the advert: “This is a really exciting collaboration and coming together like this is a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of loneliness at Christmas time in a powerful, heart-warming way.

"We hope it will really strike a chord with the Nation - driving not only awareness, but donations and actions to help some of the million older people who go for a month without speaking to anyone.”

In London, groups such as North London Cares seek to connect older people and younger people so they can "share a little extra time, laughter, practical help and human companionship".

As well as donating, you can volunteer to be one of the people who hangs out with older people to help change their lives.

In Yorkshire, A Gift For Granny asks people to donate gifts to be given to older people who will spend Christmas in care homes, without family and friends to visit or anyone to receive presents from.