Students at De Montfort University remind the elderly they are not forgotten

By Molly Talbot

Students at De Montfort University have come together this year with Age UK for Christmas, in a heartfelt mission to remind the elderly people of Leicester that they are not alone.

Every Christmas there is a large proportion of elderly residents, both in Leicester and worldwide, having to face the festive season alone, this year more than ever.

Through DMUlocal, which is a bridge between the university and local community, De Montfort University has supported the campaign “Not forgotten this winter”, run by Age UK.

The cards sent with the Age UK packages. The message reading: “This is a Christmas like no other but please remember you are not forgotten. These hard times shall pass, and you will come out of it stronger. Sending you light, strength and warmth this Christmas. From a stranger who cares x

The campaign involves sending out a care package to the elderly who are facing Christmas alone. DMU students had the chance to add their own personal message to the greeting card, a wonderful opportunity to make a difference.

Senior public engagement manager for DMU, Sunita Patel, said: “It doesn’t take a lot to do but it has a lot of impact.”

She added: “We can all relate to isolation this year,” justifying the tremendous effort made by members of De Montfort University.

The response from the university was touching, having faced just two weeks to gather messages, they received around 80 responses, which were multiplied several times to create hundreds of copies that were sent out with an Age UK care package.

Any spare messages were sent to another charity that works closely with the elderly, Leicestershire Cares.

The response to the campaign is particularly brilliant due to the hard times the community has faced this year, especially the vulnerable who endured months of social isolation.

The university has worked with Age UK in the past, hosting Christmas dinners for the residents who may have had to sit alone at their table and plan to resume these again as soon as it is safe to do so.

The university also intends to repeat this year’s campaign, there are always lots of ways to give to and support our vulnerable element of the community.