Pensioners not Lonesome Tonight as Elvis impersonator performs at Age UK festive party
Pensioners were not Lonesome Tonight as an Elvis impersonator dropped in on a festive get together.
Age UK Sunderland held a festive lunch and party for socially isolated people at its Bradbury Centre headquarters.
The organisation put on the bash to make the day special for those who live alone or have few family to call upon over the holidays.
City council mayor Doris MacKnight was one of those who dropped in as well.
Age UK Sunderland aims to promote the well-being of all older people throughout the city of Sunderland, improve their quality of life and help them maintain independence.
Director Tracy Buck told the Echo: “We had a fantastic reaction from the older people who came along.
“We do this every year for people who are isolated or living alone.
“A lot of these ladies and gentlemen do not see anybody else over Christmas and their only company is the television.
“They might have family who they can’t see or no family at all, so this is a big thing for them. “They have a full Christmas meal with all the trimmings, and a raffle and entertainment.
“Elvis was really popular with everyone too.”
Transport was provided for those attending.
Ms Buck added that the centre hosted 16 people on the day which was down slightly on the previous year’s total of 22 after a number of visitors were laid low with flu.
“We’ve still had a very good turnout,” she said.
“Loneliness is a real issue all year round but it really comes to the forefront at Christmas time.
“Research suggests it can have a big negative impact on people’s wellbeing because of the anxiety it causes, increasing the chances of strokes and heart attacks.
“We try to re-address the balance as much as we can.
“The companionship this event provides makes a huge difference.”
For more information about the work of Age UK Sunderland and the services it provides call 0191 514 1131.