Christina's Christmas Dinner
Throughout 2015, ALTERnativity has been wrestling with what we can do to support people who feel lonely at Christmas.
We have been meeting with lots of different people from all walks of life in lots of different situations. And it wasn't long before we discovered that it's not just old people who feel lonely. A telescope from John Lewis is probably not the cure-all, but just asking the question seemed to be a step in the right direction.
Will you feel lonely this Christmas?
After one of our group discussions, Christina slipped me a brown envelope containing two pieces which she had written on Christmases when she felt devastatingly lonely.
You'll find one of her pieces - a poem wishing that the 25th December would disappear - in our Christmas Stories section. The other is written in the form of two Christmas Menus and its honesty makes for very difficult reading. Christina describes a Christmas dinner destroyed by domestic abuse and dreams of what the perfect meal would look like.
"It felt strange re-reading what I wrote back then", she said. "I'll be lonely this Christmas. But I won't feel as bad as that."
Sandra Horley, Chief Executive at Refuge says,
"At Refuge, we actually receive fewer visits to our website, www.refuge.org.uk, and fewer calls to the National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership with Women’s Aid) around Christmas than we do at other times of the year. It can be very difficult for a woman experiencing domestic violence to access support during the festive period – a period when her abusive partner may be spending more time at home and monitoring her behaviour more closely than ever."
Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 0808 2000 247 FREE (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge)
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