An incredible 342,000 older people across the UK were reported to have spent Christmas on their own in 2015.

That’s why, this Christmas, players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting a range of charities working across Great Britain to reduce isolation amongst older people. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery are doubling donations to 26 charities working with older people. They hope to raise at least £400,000 to address the issue of isolation and loneliness.

Donations will be doubled as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge, an annual campaign which was started by the founder of Reed Recruitment, Sir Alec Reed CBE. The Christmas Challenge has raised more than £71 Million for roughly 2,500 charities since 2008.

From 12pm on Tuesday 29th November, for 72 hours (or until the match funding has been exhausted) all donations will be doubled, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

One of the charities benefiting from the match funding is the charity Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) who are aiming to raise £24,000 to establish a telephone befriending service for older people with heart and lung disease in the Highlands.

"We're delighted to receive match funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery," said Mark O'Donnell, Chief Executive of CHSS. "In Scotland, over 129,000 people are struggling with chronic lung disease and over 47,800 people with heart failure. These conditions have a massive impact on people's lives, as loneliness and social isolation can negatively impact mental health. These issues are exacerbated in rural areas such as the Highlands.

"The funds raised in the Christmas Challenge will enable us to reach even more people who need us, bringing friendship and encouragement while combating health-related loneliness in remote communities."

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said, "We are delighted that players of People's Postcode Lottery are able to support the Big Give's Christmas Challenge with match funding. By doubling donations it means that support from our players is reaching even more charities."

Anyone wishing to have their donation doubled should visit between midday on Tuesday 29th November and Friday 2nd December.

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The Big Give Christmas Challenge will benefit elderly people across Great Britain