TWO care homes are inviting older people in the community to join in their Christmas Day celebrations in a bid to reduce loneliness.

Staff and residents at Anchor’s Elderwood in Westmoreland Street, Darlington, and The Manor House in John Street, Barnard Castle, have organised a fun day of Christmas cheer for older people living alone in the area. They now hope older people will get in touch so they can enjoy the festivities.

The guests will join everyone at Elderwood for Christmas lunch, take part in the festive activities, including games and sing-alongs, and then be taken home when they are ready, all for free.

Ann Dale, manager of Elderwood, said: “Christmas Day is traditionally a time when families and friends get together for a laugh and a chat over a delicious meal.

“Christmas can be an incredibly lonely time if you live on your own so we wanted to extend the warmth and companionship of our lovely home to anyone facing the day alone.

“We go all out at Christmas for our residents, because some of them don’t have anyone else and we are seen as their family so we’re happy to invite some people in to join us for Christmas Day.

“We’ll pick them up in a taxi on the morning and they can spend all day with us and we’ll then organise for them to get taken home.”

If you or someone you know would like to join in call Ann Dale on 0800-0854168 or phone 01833-630555.

Places are limited and will be filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.