Lonely pensioners have been offered the chance of a cosy Christmas dinner with other members of the community.
Cleveleys Park Ward councillor, Andrea Kay, has organised the festive treat after spending time last Christmas on her own.
The news comes after pensioners were invited to the First Steps Centre in Dickson Road, North Shore, to enjoy an early festive fayre to help them get into the festive mood.
Andrea has now invited 50 isolated residents from the Cleveleys area to enjoy a Christmas dinner at Cleveleys Park Methodist Church on West Drive.
Coun Kay said: “Last year I spent Christmas at home recovering from major surgery and felt quite isolated myself.
“But the thing I remember most is the caring calls from pensioners who were also on their own, I had never realised so many people spent Christmas alone, it was quite humbling. So I made a pledge I would organise a community dinner for isolated residents.”
A growing number of older people will spend this festive season alone. Research by the National Office of Statistics has revealed one in three people over the age of 60 will go a whole week without speaking to anyone this December.
And one in 10 people will spend up to a month without any human contact.
Alan Phizacklea, information and advice manager for Age Concern, Blackpool, said: “There seems to be a real gap in services for elderly people around Christmas.
“People like to be around family and friends on Christmas Day.
“If there’s an elderly person you’re concerned about around Christmas, just pop in and check they’re safe.”
Coun Kay hopes her Christmas dinner will help combat this festive isolation.
She said: “I hope we can work as a community on this, I have already had offers from local youngsters who want to volunteer for the day and will contact our local schools regarding gifts and table decorations.”
Rev Michael Payne said he hopes friendships will be formed to help the lonely all year round.
The pair are appealing to local taxi drivers who can spare a couple of hours to ferry people around.
For information contact Coun Kay on (01253) 851077.