Age UK is a charity that everyone should help at least once in their life because, let’s face it, we are all going to get old. Helping out doesn’t have to involve big donations or huge volunteering projects, it can be something so small as telling a friend, checking on an elderly neighbour when the weather gets bad or picking up a special Big Knit Innocent Smoothie. Throughout the year Age UK do some amazing work to help support elderly people throughout Britain but it is in the winter that one of their biggest campaigns takes place.
Spread the Warmth is an Age UK winter campaign to help prevent elderly people needlessly suffering throughout the cold weather and to help reduce the number of preventable winter deaths. Due to cold weather conditions an extra 25,000 elderly people die in the winter, with the help of the Spread the Warmth campaign this number can be reduced. For many it is a struggle to be able to keep their homes warm and to be able to afford the heating bills. Winter can also be a lonely time for many older people as cold weather conditions makes it difficult for them to leave the house and carry out their day to day errands, Age UK provide a place for people to turn whenever they need it.
Whilst browsing the shelves of your local Sainsburys or Boots you may have set eyes upon an Innocent Smoothie sporting a rather beautiful knitted hat. Each of these hats is part of the Age UK Big Knit campaign which asks knitters of all ages and abilities to knit little hats. For each hat sold Age UK receive 25p and this money goes to helping make winter warmer for elderly people. Age UK provide the patterns and guidance on how to knit if you have never knitted before. Hats are available from the beginning of November until stocks last. This year Age UK reached their 650,000 hat target, every little hat counts so if you want to get involved in next year’s campaign and can only find the time to knit one hat, that one hat can still make a difference.
Another way you can get involved is through the Donate a coat campaign. Got an old winter coat you don’t wear anymore? Donate it to an Age UK shop and the money made from that coat will go to keeping elderly people warm this winter. This will include helping with winter fuel costs, deliveries of groceries to those who are trapped by the bad weather and providing volunteers to make friends with someone who would otherwise have no human contact this winter. As well as coat donations from the general public Age UK are working in association with the Daily Mirror and auctioning coats donated by celebrities. With big names such as Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig and Graham Norton giving their coats to Age UK, you might be able to bag yourself a piece of your favourite celebrity’s winter attire.
These are just a few of the ways you can get involved. By visiting the Spread the Warmth campaign website http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/spread-the-warmth/ you can read up on tips to help keep elderly near to you warm this winter. You can also add your email address so that you can keep in touch with the latest campaigns and ways to get involved. Winter can be a very dangerous time for many vulnerable elderly people, but Age UK is always on hand to help with any issue and even with the smallest of gestures, such as checking on an Elderly friend, we can all help Spread the Warmth this winter.