This Christmas we are asking people to re-think the meaning of Silent Night. Last year over 300,000 older people spent Christmas in silence. That figure is estimated to rise to 500,000 in 2016. Director Oliver Nias has directed this very emotional film for Active Lives Active Minds, with the aim to make people re-think the meaning of Silent Night.
‘Silent Night’ features a re-recorded version of the classic song with X-Factor’s Lucie Jones, contrasts the busy and sociable Christmas many of us enjoy with the isolation and loneliness experienced by older people.
A report published last week (by Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society ) suggests the number of older people not getting help has risen by nearly 50% since 2010. With fewer people than ever getting help from local authorities, the work of initiatives such as Active Lives Active Minds are becoming a crucial part of tackling the UK’s social care crisis.
Active Lives Active Minds is a non-profit social enterprise that uses four tools to alleviate loneliness and isolation – connecting people, encouraging conversation, embracing community resources and inspiring creativity. By providing community clubs, group activity sessions and individual support their aim is to increase connections and give people space to be valued, increase their life experiences and promote wellbeing.
Sherry Bell, Founder of Active Lives Active Minds, says ‘social isolation and loneliness are as bad for our health as smoking and heavy drinking. We know that the key to a better life is being more active, building relationships and giving our, often voiceless, participants space to express themselves. This is the foundation of our service and we are absolutely thrilled that singer, Lucie Jones and Director, Oliver Nias wanted to work with us to highlight these issues.’
Sherry goes on to say ‘a small organisation like ours is dependent on funding to keep running and we desperately need money to cover our costs. If we don’t access enough funds this year, I fear we will have to close the service which would be a huge loss to a great many people.’