Jersey Salvation Army's Christmas lunch is cancelled

Christmas dinner The Salvation Army usually provides Christmas lunch to people who would otherwise be on their own

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Jersey's Salvation Army cannot provide a Christmas Day lunch this year because of a broken lift at its headquarters in Minden Place, St Helier.

Last Christmas the army provided food, electricity and gift vouchers to about 300 people in Jersey.

It also put on a Christmas Day lunch for 15 islanders who would have otherwise been on their own.

Lt Stephen Scoulding from the Salvation Army said there was nothing that could be done.

He said: "We have looked at every alternative I promise you, we have been looking at this for weeks.

"We have taken advice on it but this year unfortunately we simply cannot do the Christmas Day lunch that we would normally do."

Lt Scoulding said the lunch would be back next year.

It comes as the Jersey annual social survey found nearly a third (32%) of those unable to work due to sickness or disability rarely or never socialised with people outside their household.

'Can't make friends'

The survey was completed by 2,400 of the 4,200 households it was sent to and is used to measure change, help develop policy and gauge public opinion.

A spokesman for the States of Jersey statistics unit, who organised the survey, said a relationship was found between the frequency of socialising and life satisfaction.

It found 3% of islanders had no relatives or friends to call on in an emergency.

Lt Scoulding said Christmas could be a very lonely time for islanders, especially those without family living in Jersey.

He said islanders had become more isolated and social media was stopping people from having one-to-one contact.

Lt Scoulding said: "We internalise everything and we write everything on Twitter or Facebook instead of sharing our burdens with someone face to face."

He said it was as if people had lost the ability to make friends.

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