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Such a simple act

Christmas is such a magical time of year and one that so many people look forward to. It isn’t the same for everyone as many people have no home, no family and no one to share Christmas with.

One such man was featured on the BBC news this week. He was 78 year old pensioner Terence who came from Oldham in Lancashire. Terence had taken part in an interview on the BBC previously saying that he had spent 20 Christmases on his own, since losing his mother. He said that when you are on your own you don’t get presents and it can be really lonely. He also said that he hadn’t got a Christmas tree. Dan Walker, who had conducted the interview, promised he would help and literally made Terence cry. Dan turned up at Terence’s house with a group from Oldham College. With them they bought a tree for Terence. He was clearly moved and so were the thousands of people watching at home . The College group also sang Terence’s favourite carol, Silent Night. To see the footage click here.

Terence won’t be spending Christmas on his own this year as in his work with charity Age UK he will be spending the day with a good friend. The feature is a real tear jerker but more than that it makes you realise that such a simple act of singing a carol, providing a small tree gave huge amounts of pleasure. Who will remember that most, Terence or the students that carried out the good deed? A small act of kindness at this time of year really can literally mean so much. I am sure that this will be something that Dan Walker will also remember for a long while.

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Just a simple act but so appreciated

If I am  working in my front garden I  always smile and say good morning or good afternoon to anyone passing. Some people nod, others smile and some pass the time of day but all are just acts of common courtesy. Today made me realise just how important these little acts are.

A lady pushing a trolley walked past, I smiled and said good morning to her. She replied good morning and how are you? I said that I was enjoying the lovely weather and how was she. She told me that she had hurt her back and that she been unable to get out of her house for quite a few weeks and today was the first time she had managed to brave the shops on her own. I chatted to her probably for no more than five minutes, I have no idea where she lives, never seen her before and probably will never see her again. At the end of the conversation when I wished her a speedy recovery she gave me a huge smile and thanked me for making her day and giving her someone to talk to who had taken an interest in what she was saying.

As far as I was concerned I was just doing what I thought everyone would do but this very simple act of communicating makes you realise how just a few words literally can make such a difference to people. We have featured the Chatter and Natter tables several times in our articles and this is why these tables are helping to combat loneliness but surely we can all spare just a few minutes. We all lead such busy lives but just a few seconds really can make a difference. If we all did just one good or kind deed a day what a different world we would live in.

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Costa Coffee joins the Chatty Cafe Scheme

Costa Coffee, Britain’s biggest coffee chain, has joined a scheme to help combat loneliness. They are going to trial a “chatter and natter table”. This is where people can sit if they actively want to talk to other people. Here at Banana Crumble we think this is a really great idea.

 

Costa is launching this as a pilot project in 25 of its stores and if the idea is successful they will extend it across the country. The Chatty Cafe scheme was launched by Alexandra Hoskyn from Oldham. Alexandra is a mum with a young child and she came up with the idea on a day when she wanted some company. Alexandra is hoping that her project will have a positive impact on other people by allowing them to interact without feeling awkward. The scheme is run in cafes and restaurants of all sizes and Alexandra is hoping that her idea will be put into place in more  outlets across the country and that loneliness can be reduced.

I think everyone has been into a restaurant/ cafe/ coffee shop or other situations on your own at some stage. If someone starts talking to you, they are almost looked upon as strange. Why is this stranger talking to me? I have friends that are either on their own or elderly and some that just like a chat. One elderly friend I know will go out on a bus each day just so that she can engage in conversations with someone as otherwise days can go past and she actually won’t talk to anyone.

Loneliness is a horrible thing and launching and taking part in schemes like the chatter and natter table is a really good way of letting people engage with other people without that stigma of why are they talking to me? Statistics about loneliness are astonishing and 46% of adults have felt lonely at some stage and just over 5% feel lonely all the time. This simple idea is a great way of getting people to engage with each other.

Banana Crumble would like to wish Alexandra all the very best with her great idea.