Ground coffee supporting Age NI this Christmas We are delighted to announce that Ground will be supporting us this Christmas, and doing their bit to help older people who may be lonely this festive season. From Friday 20 – Sunday 22 December, the company’s 24 Ground espresso bars across Northern Ireland are encouraging customers to bring in an older neighbour, friend or family member along for a coffee. Throughout the weekend, they’ll be running a ‘buy one coffee get one free’ offer so customers can treat an older person or friend to a hot cuppa, and take some time to connect and catch up with one another during a busy time of year. Whilst most of us will look forward to Christmas for the chance to spend valuable time with family and friends, sadly for 41,000[i] older people in Northern Ireland, Christmas is the loneliest time of year. Ground will be collecting for Age NI throughout December. "A haven for our customers" Darren and Karen Gardiner, Managing Directors of Ground, said: “Ground is a family owned and operated business. It is part of our mission to provide a haven for our customers where comfort, friendship, happiness, quality and ethics is synonymous with our name. “We know that loneliness is an increasing issue for many people, but it’s particularly upsetting to think that some older people don’t have anyone to turn to, or to simply chat with. “We’re inviting people to join us in store and bring an older family member, friend or neighbour for a cuppa and chat. And if you have any spare change, please drop whatever you can in to the Age NI collection cans, to help them be there for even more older people.” "Loneliness is a personal battle" Nadine Campbell, Head of Fundraising, Age NI, added: “We are absolutely delighted that Ground have chosen to support Age NI this Christmas. Sadly, we all know that loneliness is a very personal battle, and can be triggered by so many different things. Some people have no family to speak of; others are cut off from friends and neighbours through illness, bereavement and other life transitions. “We would really encourage people to reach out to those closest to them and take time to catch up or re-connect this festive season. It’s the simplest things like saying hello, taking the time to talk and having a cuppa that can make all the difference.” Find your local store Ground’s 24 Northern Ireland espresso bars will be supporting Age NI with their buy one coffee get one free offer from Friday 20 – Sunday 22 December. To find your local store, go to: https://groundcoffee.net/find-us/ [i] Age NI calculation based on data from Kantar F2F Omnibus Research polling for Age UK, November 2019 (sample of 1883 people aged 65+ in the UK) and NISRA mid-year 2018 population estimates (accessed 2019). 13.31% of people surveyed answered either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ when asked: ‘How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? - I often feel more lonely at Christmas than any other time of year’. NISRA estimate that there are 308,200 people aged 65 and over in Northern Ireland. The number of people therefore aged 65 and over in Northern Ireland who feel more lonely at Christmas than any other time of the year is estimated to be 41,021.42 (i.e. 13.31% multiplied by 308,200; differences in answer due to rounding of percentage figure).