Doris meets the PM and Strictly stars

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Strictly Come Dancing stars and the Prime Minister joined forces to throw a party to raise awareness of loneliness at Christmas.

More than 20 volunteers and old people from companionship services and lunch clubs in Yorkshire attended the Downing Street bash with David Cameron, earlier this week.

Doris Wood from Mirfield was one of them. Doris is a member of the Batley branch of national charity Contact the Elderly. The charity helps to tackle loneliness and social isolation among older people by hosting monthly Sunday afternoon tea party for people over 75 who live alone.

Doris said: “Since I joined Contact the Elderly my life has changed completely. I have met so many lovely people I wouldn’t have met before.”

She was welcomed to Downing Street with a rendition of carols by the London Welsh Choir. The guests then tucked in to a party lunch of smoked salmon, roast turkey and Christmas pudding in the state dining room.

Doris said: “The party was amazing. It was lovely of David Cameron to invite us. He came round talking to all of us and was so caring.”

The Prime Minister said: “Christmas is a time that should be filled with joy and celebration not loneliness and isolation. And yet there are too many people, often older people, who will spend this festive season alone. You can’t underestimate what a big difference small, caring acts and companionship can make to someone who is on their own.”