After the success of the celebrations that took place in Summer 2017, we heard from thousands of you who wanted to get together again, and not just once a year.
What better excuse to prove we have more in common than Christmas? Especially when we know so many spend it feeling isolated and lonely.
Simple acts of friendship to take on loneliness
On doorsteps, in living rooms and at community events, Christmas was made brighter and communities came closer together. Just the simple act of sharing a mince pie helped encourage people to come together.
- 208,000 people took part in #MincePieMoments
- 4,500 people shared the #MincePieMoments hashtag
- 4,000 people downloaded our ‘How to’ guide
- 2.5 million people watched our videos
- 93% of people said they felt more connected to their community after taking part.
Some of the participants described their favourite moments to us:
“What was most memorable was the change in people’s demeanour when they opened their doors. Initially nervous and suspicious, once they heard what we were doing and why, their expressions changed to warm smiles and friendly chat, it was wonderful.”
“The cross generational interaction and everyone getting involved was a highlight”
“A young man who had tried to kill himself said he felt alive for the first time and thank us for giving him hope”
“An elderly gentleman told us how he now doesn’t feel so lonely and has a door to knock on if he needs anything”
Our favourite #MincePieMoments
Thousands took to social media to share their #MincePieMoments, whether they were having them with new friends, old friends or neighbours. Here is just a glimpse of what went on throughout the country:
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who made it possible to feed 100 people at Hove Methodist Church who would otherwise have been alone on Christmas Day and 21 take out meals. #mincepiemoments @EndLonelinessUK @HoveLunchClub @TTTBCharity @great_together @GoodNews_Shared pic.twitter.com/3JisPindct
— Hove Methodist (@HoveMethodists) 28 December 2017
— Happyhooe (@happyhooe) 20 December 2017
Just back from a fabulous #MincePieMoments with my neighbour. In just one hour I learnt so much about her. We’ll continue our chats with dinner next time. Thanks @great_together #tackleLoneliness She might let me take a pic then😉 pic.twitter.com/YkEfISwZdV
— Janet MacLennan (@janetSnapCare) 20 December 2017
Lovely #HangingHeaton School #Christmas service today.. also some wonderful #MincePieMoments with 3 housebound friends today – pic is Harold who broke his neck earlier this year & the packed school service… @great_together #GodWithUs pic.twitter.com/GSTXdHyjKi
— Mark Umpleby📎 (@MarkUmpl) 22 December 2017
— Natalie Bradley 💕 (@PINKTEEGAN) 22 December 2017
#MincePieMoments at Norwich City FC
Two people who understand how difficult loneliness can be are Mel Wallis who used to be homeless in Norwich, and Patrick Changa, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Together they were invited to watch the Norwich City vs Brentford match on Friday 22nd December, by the club’s owner Delia Smith. They shared #MincePieMoments with Delia and its chairman Ed Balls.
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) 22 December 2017
Jo’s community continue to remember her
The people of Jo’s home constituency Batley and Spen hold the values she lived by close to their hearts. So it was no surprise to see them hold one of the biggest #MincePieMoments events.
Support from the stars
Some of our favourite stars even joined in with #MincePieMoments.
Delia was kind enough to donate her iconic mince pie recipe to everyone taking part.
Bill Nighy invited us to his fireside for a heartwarming and hilarious story about ‘Si’ the lonely mince pie.
And as if that wasn’t more national treasures than we could handle, Stephen Fry shared his support with his 13 million Twitter followers.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) 15 December 2017
Making the news
Jo’s sister Kim made us all proud as she appeared on BBC Breakfast to introduce #MincePieMoments.
She also shared the first of her mince pie moments with Phil, son of Bernard Kenny who so bravely stepped in to try and save Jo from her attacker. You can watch that here.
We were proud to be part of Good Morning Britain’s 1 million minutes campaign, where viewers were asked to pledge time to help people feeling lonely this Christmas.
And we’re not finished yet!
As we look forward to the year ahead, we continue to strive to bring people together, as we know Jo would have.
If you’d like to join us, make sure you’re the first to hear new plans by signing up to email updates.