ELDERLY residents celebrated the festive season with a project aimed to tackle loneliness and encourage friendship.

Optalis care in Wokingham encouraged his customers and residents to take part in a number of Christmas initiatives aimed to bring people together.

READ THIS: Jennett's Park Community Association suggest electric scooters should not be used in public

The festivities were a particular success with the 'Hug in a Mug' scheme, set up by learning disability Focused Friends, which targeted individuals in the local area who may need some cheering up.

Giving back to the community was high on the agenda as a number of people pulled together to arrange acts of kindness.

Westmead Day Centre and Optalis care hosted a Christmas craft fayre which raised £650 for customers of the care charity to decide where the money should be spent on.

Malcolm, Optalis volunteer, said: “We were so impressed by the generosity of donations received, as well as the time that was devoted by so many people. It’s good to see everyone pulling together and the teamwork between staff and customers. Although I don’t want to pick out individuals because so many people made it a special event, Richard and Gill worked particularly hard to make the day a great success.”

ALSO READ: Train passengers hit by 2.7 per cent rail fare rise

Two full boxes of gifts were received by those attending the Christmas Day lunch hosted by The Link Visiting Scheme.

Marjie Walker, scheme manager at the Link Visiting Scheme, said, “We were expecting around 100 elderly guests who would otherwise have been lonely and isolated on Christmas Day. "These gifts were a wonderful addition to the festivities. We are really grateful to everyone at Optalis for their kindness."