UK loneliness epidemic set to hit home this Christmas as one in five to spend it alone

A fifth of adults will be spending Christmas alone or with just one other person, a new study has found.

Despite six in ten saying spending time with the family is one of the best things about Christmas, many will only be afforded a small celebration rather than a large get-together.

The results of the study come as a report from the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission found loneliness is as harmful to health as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Sister of Jo Cox, Kim Leadbeater has called on everyone to play a part in counteracting the epidemic, saying “we can all go out tomorrow and knock on somebody’s door, catch up with a friend we’ve not seen for a while who might be having a tough time and we can all make a little bit of difference.”

She added: “I’m really embarrassed that I didn’t know my neighbours until Jo got killed.

“And I know everybody on my street now. Because what they did, they scooped me up and looked after me when I needed it, and that just shows you the power of community.”

Hotel chain Jurys Inn have announced that they will be setting tables aside for anyone who is dining alone this Christmas so they can enjoy their meal with company.

The initiative comes after a pub in Wimbledon announced they would be giving free dinner and a drink to anyone who turns up on their own on Christmas Day.

In a statement on Facebook, they said they believe “our little gesture is just a way of hopefully getting them (lonely people) to have a bloody good day as opposed to an awful one.”

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