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Community Foundation's Christmas Presence campaign returns

The Bristol Bears Community Foundation's Christmas Presence campaign, aimed at raising awareness of loneliness and social isolation among older people over the festive period, returns for its third year next week.

Working in partnership with Bristol Sport Foundation and Bristol City Robins Foundation, the campaign kicks off with a Christmas festival at St Monica Trust's Monica Wills House in Bedminster. 

The campaign launched in 2017 and is aligned with the Community Foundation’s Golden Memories programme.

Joining the festive fun will be a choir from Victoria Park Primary School and Nascence Project volunteers from Bristol corporate firms, Hargreaves Lansdown and EY. 

Statistics released by Age UK show that more than half a million older people in the UK expect to feel lonely this Christmas, and the charity also discovered that 300,000 people over the age of 65 have gone a month without having a conversation with a friend or relative.

For that reason, Christmas Presence is about far more than the events of a one-day festival – it’s backed up and, in many ways, enhanced by the follow-up work and visits scheduled in.

In the coming weeks preceding and following Christmas, players from Bristol Bears Women, Education students from Bristol City Robins Foundation, and a number of corporate partners from Bristol Sport Foundation’s Nascence Project will visit St Monica Trust sites across Bristol for a number of more intimate engagements, ensuring the campaign leaves a powerful and meaningful legacy.