John Lewis prove old people can be sexy

There’s only one possible subject for my blog this week. The John Lewis Christmas advert brought a rush of phone calls and e-mails into the Age UK Sheffield office on Friday, before it had even been on TV.

Now, almost nine million views later (as of Sunday evening) there can no longer be any doubt about it – old people can be sexy.

What do I mean by that? Well, in my seven weeks so far at Age UK Sheffield, I’ve spoken to numerous people about the need for us to increase our charity donations, and regularly been met with the response: “Yes, but you’re not sick children or cute animals, are you?”

The inference being that people care enough to give to some really great charities, but not enough to give to other really great charities that work with older people. Thanks to John Lewis, we now know people do care about older people. Hopefully you do too.

So, what can you do to help Age UK Sheffield? Well, here are a few small things that might not cost you anything except a few hours of your time:

  1. Pledge to join an army of people we’re trying to recruit to do a bit of fundraising for us during 2016. Whether it’s shaking a bucket or collection tin, or running a marathon for us, every penny of funding will go to our work in the city of Sheffield, helping its over-50s to live happy, independent lives, for longer. E-mail me (steve.chu@ageuksheffield.org.uk) or Tweet us (@ageuksheffield) using the hashtag #auksarmy
  2. Partly due to the John Lewis ad we’re getting enquiries from people who would like to befriend an older person in Sheffield this Christmas. Because all our work is about helping older people to be independent, we don’t have a waiting list of people who would like to receive this kind of support. But if this is something you would like to do, please tell us and we will arrange this.
  3. If you run a business, or if you arrange volunteering or charity activities where you work, and would like to give us some time or money, please contact me. We’re building up our links with local businesses – and if John Lewis think it’s great for their business to partner with Age UK (and they’ve had wall-to-wall goodwill this weekend), then I’m sure it would be good for yours.
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