24 September 2015

Bisto fights loneliness with Rachel Riley and Contact the Elderly

Although Sundays are perfect to gather around the table for a meal, research shows that with more than a third of those aged 70 or more living on their own in the UK, many are missing out on the joy of gathering together over some delicious home cooking. Our Bisto Together Project has got together with campaign spokesperson Rachel Riley and charity Contact the Elderly to launch the Spare Chair Sunday campaign.

Spare Chair Sunday is a new initiative to encourage people to invite an elderly person from their local community to share their Sunday lunch.

As Rachel said, “When you think of all the spare chairs there must be around the dinner table every Sunday, even if we fill a small percentage every week, it will really add up to make a huge difference.”  

“The work that Contact the Elderly does makes a phenomenal difference. I was delighted to be invited by Bisto, as part of its Together Project, to help raise awareness of the serious issue of isolation amongst older people and the benefits that sharing a meal can have through its Spare Chair Sunday campaign.”

Having experienced a Spare Chair Sunday for herself, Rachel believes it is one of the most ‘uplifting’ experiences she’s had this year. 

But according to Contact the Elderly, Sunday is the loneliest day of the week. 

Despite being a real favourite (49% say a roast dinner is their favourite meal) four out of 10 will eat one less than once a month with loved ones.

Rachel Riley wants to increase the number of meals older people share with friends and family as the benefits are well documented.

Mary Rance, CEO, Contact the Elderly says: “We know that regular friendship links over a meal provide a simple solution to the complex problem of isolation in older people. The benefits are enormous for both older people and hosts and volunteers at Contact the Elderly only need do it once or twice a year to make an enormous difference to older people’s lives.

“Through its Together Project and the idea of Spare Chair Sunday, Bisto is the perfect partner to help bring people together for an uplifting experience and a real favourite; the Sunday roast.”

On TV, radio and online we’ll be encouraging everyone to register on the Contact the Elderly website.

Why not sign up through the Bisto Together Project site today? As Rachel says, hosting an older person at your home – whether it’s once, a few times or on many occasions during the year – has the potential to make a huge difference.

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