Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas.
Midge Curry, Grimsby and Cleethorpes Dial-a-Ride:
Some time ago I wrote to CTA to let them know about an organisation that sprung into life following one man’s encounter with a very, very lonely lady. The organisation ‘Not Home Alone at Christmas’ came about when the husband of the organiser met an older lady who was in floods of tears at the prospect of yet another Christmas on her own. The gentleman and his wife decided that they had to do something about this and set up a big Christmas celebration for those who would otherwise be home alone at Christmas. They had begged, borrowed (but not stolen) enough food to provide a Christmas lunch for 80 people but had no means of transporting them to the venue.
We were only too happy to help and used our busses to get people to and from the festivities; the event was a resounding success. The service has been operating for 2 years now and has increased its activities to four times per year, not just at Christmas. Recently they held another one of their gatherings, this time for 81 people!
Speaking with one of the drivers I learned how friendships have been forged and contacts maintained outside the events. Two ladies who had lived in the same street for years had never met each other before ‘Not Home Alone’ introduced them. They are now firm friends and visit each other and go out together. Others who live in close proximity have also formed little sub groups who get together for social groups and are no longer home alone.
Through working with Not Home Alone at Christmas, we’ve helped to ensure that being alone at Christmas is not an option in North East Lincolnshire and we’re proud that this has expanded to giving people friendship and companionship all through the year. This year they will be holding their Christmas Day lunch once again, and we are so pleased to be part of such a heart-warming event involving numerous generous hearted people who will give up their own Christmas to make it special for others.