A DISTRICT charity is urging everyone to help make a difference in combatting loneliness and isolation amongst older people.

The plea has been issued by Age UK Bradford District, to coincide with Loneliness Awareness Week.

According to the charity, which has a hub in Keighley's Airedale Shopping Centre, nearly one million older people across the UK report that they often experience feelings of loneliness.

But the organisation says there are simple things everybody can do to help.

Mark Rounding, for Age UK Bradford District, says: "There are many ways we can all assist by creating connections with others.

"This often starts with small things – greeting someone with a warm smile, striking up a conversation or offering to lend a hand.

"Knowing the things to watch out for, and what you might be able to do, can really help too.

"For instance, significant life changes can often trigger loneliness so it’s important to keep an eye on anyone you know who may have recently experienced the death of a loved one, retired, could be facing financial difficulties or who has been diagnosed with an illness or disability."

The charity has issued a series of tips, including:

* Check in regularly with older relatives, friends and neighbours to see how they’re feeling. You could invite them round for a coffee or lunch. Or, if they don’t live nearby, give them a phone or video call, make a homemade card, send a letter or even a small gift to show you care

* Lend a hand. Could you offer a lift or accompany an older person to an event? Age UK Bradford District stages a variety of in-person social activities in the area, with each doing their bit to tackle feelings of loneliness

* Give out useful numbers. Age UK Bradford District can be contacted via phone, email or post. To speak to a member of the team, call 01274 391190

* Also, Age UK runs a number of loneliness services on a national level, including a telephone friendship service (0800 434 6105), advice line (0800 169 6565) and the Silver Line helpline (0800 4 70 80 90), which is free and available 24 hours a day for any older person who would like a chat

For further information about Age UK Bradford District and its services, as well as information on how to support and donate to the charity, visit ageuk.org.uk/bradforddistrict