ISOLATED elderly people will not have to dine alone this Christmas, after Island businesses chipped in for a special Christmas lunch.

Age UK Isle of Wight and Rouse financial planners will host a ‘jingle and mingle' meal for elderly people on December 18 at Barton Manor, East Cowes.

Proper Vintage, Independent Arts and their SingAbout group, Grace's Bakery and Orchard House Care Centre are just some of the organisations that have donated time and resources to the festive event.

Members of the Gurnard Knit and Natter group have made a Christmas stocking for every guest, each of which will contain a small gift.

Age UK said as many as 6,000 people over the age of 65 live alone on the Island.

Alex Pugh, of Rouse, said: "We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity with donations of time, resource and money and we have only got this far with their help.

"We are so grateful to everyone who has come forward."

Orchard House general manager Gaynor Rhead said: "Loneliness can be a big problem for elderly people, especially as the weather gets colder.

"Our doors are always open to new friends of the home."

For more information about attending the event, email or call Age UK Isle of Wight on 525282.

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