In 2007 Caroline was asked if she would drive a group of old ladies in the local Handybus to a lunch on Christmas Day. She agreed, little knowing that this would be a journey that would change her life.
As she drove the ladies home after their Christmas lunch certain aspects of their conversation struck her:
- What a fantastic day they had had
- How she wished she could have been part of/contributed to it
- How happy they all were to have met each other so that they could meet and have a cup of tea at anytime during the year.
The following year Caroline volunteered for the whole of Christmas Day and subsequently took part in organising the local lunch before deciding that she wanted to do more. Community Christmas was born in 2011 since when it has grown so that in 2016 a total of 504 opportunities for companionship were listed on the website with another 128 known to be going ahead.
Community Christmas has the vision that no older person in the UK should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be. However, what really motivates Caroline is the knowledge that contacts made and information shared on Christmas Day can change lives for the longer term. People of all ages become part of their community and find out about local services that bring long lasting improvements to social, emotional and physical well-being.