Everyone of us will have experienced what it's like to feel lonely. Whether it's been for just a few hours, a day or so or maybe even a bit longer. Now imagine that feeling every single day for months, maybe even years, on special occasions like your birthday or Christmas.
Imagine feeling like that for the rest of your life as you get older. Your only company is the TV and every day is like groundhog day. Feels rubbish just thinking about doesn't it? But for some older people this is their reality and their life.
One of the most shocking things that I read about when I first started volunteering with Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, is that loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 3.9 million older people say the TV is their main source of company and 1 million will spend Christmas alone. Its so easy in this day and age to just "drop off the radar".
So I've set myself two challenges this year which I'll be doing to fundraise for Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin;
- 4th/5th May - I will be completing an ultra challenge, hiking 106km (65.8miles) non stop apart from the odd food break :-) around the whole circumference of the Isle of Wight. It will probably take around 24 hours + with no sleep!
- 8th September - I will be running in the Great North Run (13.1 miles / 21km). This is the biggest half marathon in the world! The furthest distance I've ran before is 10km so this is definitely going to be a challenge.
Donating to this page will help Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin
to continue providing vital services that offer companionship, advice and support for millions of older people facing later life alone.
A personal note...I love chatting to older people, I find some of their stories fascinating. I used to visit my great auntie when I was younger who lived on her own for years. She was the sweetest old lady and I loved visting her. Whenever I took her flowers she always tried to give me the money for them, bless her and would always try to offer me a salmon sandwich saying "I've got a nice tin of salmon in the pantry" which she kept for special occasions even though the one time it actually came out it was out of date years before! She was so positive and full of light so when the times get tough on my challenges I'll be thinking of dear old Auntie Ev and her lovely positive smile to get me through.