West Mid Hospital Paediatrics & Charlotte House Care home (Care UK)
Our annual charity endeavour for 2016 built on last year’s Christmas gift donation to the paediatric ward in West Middlesex Hospital. This year we wanted to include the opposite age spectrum and spread the Christmas cheer to residents of Charlotte House in Isleworth.
Research shows that 18% of older people live alone while 43% report feeling lonely on a regular basis. Lonely seniors are more likely to decline and die faster. The aforementioned UCSF study also found that people 60-years-old and older, who reported feeling lonely, saw a 45% increase in their risk for death. Isolated elders also had a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than their more social counterparts.
With these statistics coming to fore, we realised that this part of our society currently suffers from a form of social neglect, and we need to do something about it. As one writer put it, “At youngest we’re most pure. At oldest most experienced. But at both we’re the softest at heart. Maybe that’s why those ages get along most. It’s somewhere in the middle that we lose ourselves.”
Being among that middle age bracket, we decided to manifest the idea of being the softest at heart and get together as a force for community cohesion and understanding. In doing so, we were able to raise £500 to go towards this endeavour and delivered it on Christmas eve. Amongst our group we talked about the aforementioned quote and increased in our understanding and compassion towards others, especially the young and elderly.
One of our projects throughout the year was called Project Canvas. The idea was to associate one letter from “Poetical Word” to each month of 2016. We asked our audience to paint or draw something that represented them that night so we can capture a year long snapshot of our creative energy. In December we took the letter D on a canvas and had some of the kids at hospital draw on it as well as the parents leave messages of support.
We look forward to next year's charity endeavour with a renewed zeal. If you'd like to get involved, get in touch!
 Study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Source: AgingCare.com