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'It can be a rough time': How comedian Sarah Millican is helping people who spend Christmas alone

This is the seventh year of her #joinin initiative which encourages those who are by themselves on Christmas Day to chat to join the online conversation for some company.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

CHRISTMAS CAN BE a difficult time. While many people will be getting together tomorrow with family and friends, there are others who will be spending the day alone.

For anyone who has lost a loved one recently, or during the run-up to Christmas in the past, it can also be a particularly lonely and sad day.

It was these people who comedian Sarah Millican had in mind when she first started #joinin seven years ago.

Every Christmas, Millican tweets throughout the day, encouraging anyone feeling lonely to get involved in the conversation and reminding them they are not alone.

This online tradition has been a huge success and last year the joining-in went well into the New Year as people who had connected on 25 December wanted to support each other through the whole season.

One woman last year said she had “not spoken to a soul all day” whole another user said “When u have family that don’t want u n nobody cares it v hard n lonely [sic]“.

“Good morning I’ve just woken up and it’s my first Christmas alone not by my choosing all ready to #joinin,” another tweet read.

“I have severe social anxiety so I shut myself away. Merry Christmas x,” one man tweeted.

A number of people who used the hashtag had recently lost someone close to them.

“Love the idea of#joinin husband working all day so just me and my daughter. Tough week as my mum passed away on Monday,” said one woman.

‘A rough time’

Last month the comedian confirmed she would be hosing #joinin again this year. She told iNews that “some people have a rough time of it”.

“For those who are on their own and would rather not be, we do #joinin so that like-minded people can chat and hopefully make this potentially lonely day much less so.

“It’s good for folk to know there are nice people waiting to chat to them. Just jump in.”

A number of people who had taken part last year replied telling her how much it had helped them get through the day.

“I did #joinin 2 years ago when I was stuck in hospital, & you & the others were all so lovely to me. It made a huge difference to what was a horrific time in my life. You rock. Xx,” one said.

“I know I’ll need it again this Christmas as its already getting so hard to contemplate my first Christmas without my Mum, thx,” said another.

Lovely idea.There’s a fairly good chance I’ll be on my own this year too and am stressing about it already. This will help!
Thank God, it’s great to know it’s on again this year. W/o family this year and dreading the holidays.

You can take part tomorrow by following Sarah Millican on Twitter, or simply by using the #joinin tag in your own tweets.

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