While many of us look forward to spending time with our loved ones over the festive period, for some the festive season can actually be a particularly lonely time.
But thanks to a ingenious map, it’s now easier than ever for those who are planning to spend Christmas alone to find a friendly face to celebrate the day.
The interactive map, put together by Premier Christian Radio, shows venues around the UK which will be holding events for people to attend on Christmas Day, regardless of faith or background.
Anyone planning on holding an event can submit details here and, once checked out by staff at Premier, the event will be added to the map.
Chris Byland, a producer for Premier’s radio stations, told The Huffington Post UK that they have been running their Christmas Alone campaign for four years.
He said:“Loretta Andrews, presenter of Premier Christian Radio’s drive time show, and I wanted to make a difference at Christmas four years ago, and each year we’ve become bigger with the project of finding people places to go on Christmas Day for ANYBODY.
“We’re working for a Christian station but this really is a project we wanted to make accessible for anyone.
“This year - it’s our 4th time of doing this - we’re running the campaign to find venues open on Christmas Day for the lonely or homeless across 3 radio stations (Premier Radio, Premier Praise and Premier Gospel) as well as working alongside Community Christmas - our partner for this year offering a telephone number for those who want some help in finding somewhere to go.
“We just really want to make a difference to people who don’t want to be on their own this Christmas, regardless of their faith or background.”
If anyone is looking for an event but can’t find somewhere, they can get in touch with the radio station who will try to help them.
Byland said: “If people want some help in finding somewhere to go - whether that’s a call, text or email to the station, or to the specialist number on offer - we of course help them in every way we can in trying to find somewhere.
“Last year I was finding places for people on Christmas Eve.”
He added: “Everyone that Loretta and I get to speak to really appreciate the effort we make to pull together a list of places that are open on Christmas Day for people who don’t want to be alone.
“It’s sad that this is the reality for thousands of people - we really hope that what we do makes the world of difference to just one person somewhere.”
Charities, businesses and churches who want to register their event have until 19 December.
HuffPost UK is running a fortnight-long focus around helping others this Christmas. Giving Back will shine a light on the organisations and individuals making a difference in their community, tackling issues such as loneliness, homelessness, food waste and financial struggle. We’d also love to hear your stories. To blog for Giving Back, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up to date with our features and find tips on how you can make a difference this Christmas, follow the hashtag #GivingBack.