Experts are concerned about the impact loneliness will have on health, both physical and mental.
It's beneficial when volunteers give up their time to keep lonely people company – but what about the other way around?
Edward Hardy played in a jazz quartet for almost 40 years after serving in Japan during World War II but had nobody to play with once he moved to the home in Wookey, Somerset. With the help of kind-hearted care worker Sam Kinsella, Mr Hardy appealed on Gumtree for bandmates to jam with. The reunited jazz quartet are now in rehearsals for a show at Mellifont Abbey care home in 2016.
When it comes to cry factor, German supermarket Edeka blows John Lewis’ Man On The Moon out of the solar system. Alone, he prepares Christmas dinner. The reunited family have a lovely Christmas dinner courtesy of Edeka.