Volunteers are needed to help elderly residents reconnect with their community this Christmas.

National charity Community Christmas wants residents in and around Coggeshall to organise community activities which will provide companionship for older people, who otherwise would spend Christmas alone.

Ideas include a cooking traditional turkey lunch, a social meet-up at a restaurant or pub, a classic film screening in your home or public hall or any other kind of collaborative community gathering.

Last year, there were hundreds of similar events listed on the Community Christmas website, and an estimated 12,000 pensioners attended in the UK.

Founder of the charity Caroline Billington said: “I knew that our primary mission would be to help older people use Christmas Day as a way to make connections with their community.

"However, what I love every year as we connect with people around the country, is hearing about the other impacts - the volunteers that go on to help others year round, the event and activity organisers that get the bug and those that set something up a couple of years ago and have seen it grow.

"Anyone can set something up but people often think it’s too late, I’m here to say it’s not, and Community Christmas is here to help.

"You don’t have to do a Christmas Lunch, you could do mince pies and teas, board games or a film viewing, the most important thing is that you are bringing people together."

All of the events across the area and further afield will be listed on the Community Christmas website before the big day.

The information is checked and permission is sought from the organiser before publishing, so even if you are not the host you can spread the word about the event.

Anyone who knows of any Christmas Day activities or wishes to organise one is urged to get in touch via the website www.communitychristmas.org.uk, call 0800 063 9285 or email help@communitychristmas.org.uk.