Look out for your neighbours over Christmas

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An army of Good Samaritans is being urged to look out for elderly neighbours this winter.

With Christmas just around the corner, many vulnerable residents in Derbyshire will be bearing the brunt of rising fuel bills and spending the festive season alone.

Now, health bosses, charity chiefs, community groups and the Derbyshire Times are calling on kind-hearted folk to keep a close eye on their elderly neighbours.

Dr Ben Milton, a GP in Darley Dale and chair of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you’re in good health, please consider being a Good Samaritan this winter to any frail, vulnerable or elderly neighbours.

“You could offer to do their shopping, collect their prescriptions or give them a lift to medical appointments or social events. Why not volunteer to clear their driveway if it snows or turns icy.

“We will all be older one day and grateful for the help that kind-hearted neighbours can give.”

Age Concern Chesterfield and District said it had seen a rise in the number of calls from older people needing advice on paying energy bills and tackling isolation.

Sarah Picton, of the charity, said: “It is a difficult season for our vulnerable residents.

“We urge people to look out for their elderly neighbours, friends and loved ones over winter and to contact us if they’re struggling and would like help.

Cameron Philpot, of Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Pensioners’ Action Association, added: “The majority of people have a telephone in front of them.

“It’s easy to call an elderly relative, neighbour or friend to make sure they’re OK.”

Derbyshire Times’ Editor Graeme Huston said: “With Christmas coming up, it’s a busy time for a lot of people but it only takes a minute to make an important check on our elderly loved ones.”