I am 26. I met Rachel, an 86-year-old British Ghanian, through an elderly befriending scheme in Islington. We've been chatting, sipping tea or shandy and half-watching Home and Away every week for the past two years.
This conflict is so difficult for older people. I am trying to keep daily contact with all the older people we have been working with... Older people have lived through so much in Gaza and we want to do whatever we can to support them and to improve their lives.
In a changing economic context, most charities are being asked to be more entrepreneurial, but I'm coming across more and more CEOs that are tired of hearing the term and Chairs of Trustees that don't seem to know where to start. So what does 'entrepreneurial' really mean in the charity sector?
Countess immobile elderly people miss going to church, shops, the supermarket and the library. Eighty six year old Margaret tells me how her deteriorating eye sight meant she had to give up driving and 'my freedom' several years ago, 'I still haven't come to terms with it' she adds.
Joe, 91, lost his wife 10 years ago and his only son died of Cancer. "I think about them all the time" the charmingly humble man tells me, "its just that Christmas brings back memories of family Christmases when my boy was little.. it is one time of year I don't look forward to.."
Despite the internet being a universal means of communication, and visual impairment and dyslexia affecting hundreds of millions worldwide, this subject only receives sporadic attention in the media. In the UK alone there are six million affected by dyslexia.
'What on earth is the point of my life?' Molly (not her real name) asks me. The frail, weary to her bone 92 year old looks at me as her shaky hands struggle to adjust a stubbornly troublesome hearing aid.
As much as we like to the sneer at the comic-like quality of The Sun newspaper, as many a Prime Minister has discovered, its status as the highest circulation daily newspaper in the UK means that you ignore its influence at your peril.
Hollywood and television commercials present countless images of old age as a time when contented, silver-haired individuals kick back after a life of work and raising families. The reality, however, is often very different and why, in truth, many people are a little scared of growing old.
No one should be forced to spend Christmas Day alone and I urge you to take a bit of time out from all the parties, gift wrapping and festivities to spread Christmas cheer to an older person you know this festive season.