An annual Boxing Day lunch brought Christmas cheer to isolated elderly people in Sunderland.
Thanks to dozens of Age UK volunteers in the city, the charity was able to hold its Christmas lunch on Boxing Day, to bring elderly people together to tackle loneliness during the festive period.
Forty elderly people took part in the lunch at the Bradbury Centre, on Stockton Road, Sunderland, led by deputy director Tracy Collins.
Volunteers and Station Taxis provided a free transport service to and from the lunch, which saw elderly people taking part in carol singing and games.
Guests were also treated to a visit from Santa and given sandwiches to take home, as well as food hampers courtesy of city call centre Fusion.
The event aims to provide company to people who would otherwise be alone during the holiday.
This year, the Sunderland Echo has backed Age UK Sunderland’s No One Should Have No One campaign, aiming to prevent older people feeling isolated and urging people to give up their time to volunteer for the service.
“I want to thank the volunteers who are putting the hard work in today,” said Tracy.
“Our volunteers are fantastic.
“We have had so many donations this year, so many individuals and businesses coming in with things for us to give out.
“A lot of the people here today don’t have family living locally, so they would not have anyone to be with.”
Penny Walton, from Grindon, was enjoying her third Age UK Boxing Day lunch.
“I was really pleased they invited me again – I really enjoy it,” she said.