More than eight million adults expect to be alone during the festive period – with 83 per cent of them unlikely to speak to anyone face-to-face on Christmas day.

A study of 2,000 adults found that one in six won’t be spending the holidays with loved ones.

Of those, 22 per cent won’t have a Christmas dinner.

But while it’s usually the older generation who are thought to be most at risk of loneliness over the festive period, 24 per cent those aged 35-44 are likely to be alone on Christmas Day, compared to 12 per cent of over 55s.

It also emerged 42 per cent of all adults have friends or relatives they worry will be lonely this festive season.

As a result, two thirds intend to make an effort to connect with family and friends by calling them more often.

And 73 per cent admitted that this year has taught them the importance of connection.

The study was commissioned by Tesco Mobile which has a two-year partnership with national homelessness charity, Crisis and has launched a virtual Christmas (SIM) card appeal to help combat loneliness among those currently experiencing homelessness.

Tom Denyard, CEO of Tesco Mobile said: “This research shows us just how important it is to be able to connect with our loved ones, particularly when loneliness has been so prevalent this year.

“And those feelings of loneliness are amplified at Christmas, especially for those without a permanent home.

“For someone experiencing homelessness a phone is more than an accessory – it’s a lifeline.”

The study also found that people have been proactively reconnecting with loved ones this year, with half contacting old friends and family members more than usual, since the start of lockdown.

Because of this, 44 per cent felt that without a mobile phone, they would feel ‘completely adrift’ during the festive season.

But the study, commissioned via OnePoll, found that while they have been able to keep in touch with loved ones during the lockdown, 52 per cent admitted they couldn’t imagine how lonely those experiencing homelessness have felt during 2020.

Crisis estimates that more than 200,000 households in England will be experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, such as sleeping on our streets, sofa surfing or being stuck in unsuitable temporary accommodation, this Christmas.

And, for the first time, Crisis will be delivering their Christmas services differently this year, with a big focus on providing services for people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, digitally.

The virtual Christmas (SIM) cards, available from the Crisis Shop to Stop
Homelessness, will raise money to help fund phones, devices and connectivity for people experiencing homelessness this Christmas, enabling them to connect digitally with friends, family and essential services.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “This year, we’ve been reminded of the importance of home, and being able to connect with friends and family.

“It’s heart-breaking that over 200,000 households will be spending Christmas homeless, and Crisis is doing all it can to provide vital services to people at one of the toughest times of the year.

“With Tesco Mobile’s support, in helping to fund phones and connectivity, we can continue to be there for people experiencing homelessness this Christmas, and all year round, and move towards our goal of ending homelessness for good.”

You can give the gift of connection to someone who is homeless this Christmas from just £5 on the Crisis website – https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/shop-to-stop-homelessness/products/#!/product-details/72232?utm_source=tesco_mobile&utm_medium=press&utm_campaign=STSH20&utm_content=press_release

ENDS 

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