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Join us for #WorldHelloDay and say "hello" today

To mark #WorldHelloDay we are encouraging you to say “hello”.

Anyone can particpate in World Hello Day simply by taking the time to say hello to people. A simple "hello" could make a difference to someone, especially if they are feeling isolated in this colder, darker weather. Let's brighten this miserable weather by spreading the important message of community.

In the UK, one in 12 will be over 80 years old by 2039 and in Avon and Somerset the population growth for the 75 year old age group is projected to increase by 40% by 2025.

Over half (51%) of people aged 75 and over live alone. We can all make a difference by just saying hello and keeping an eye on people in our community. Not only will it reduce loneliness but it can reduce the likelihood of people becoming victims of crime.

Older people can be vulnerable to cons and fraud, doorstep crime, distraction burglary and online/telephone scams. But if they have someone nearby they can trust they might be more likely to question something, perhaps saving themselves from a financial con.

Can you help say “hello”?

Why not take #worldhelloday to start something in your community? Every year in Portishead, one of our local PCSOs organises a Christmas Dinner for older people in Portishead. Do you have a similar event or activity in your area? Is there a weekly bridge club or monthly tea dance in your village hall? We want to raise awareness of events in our area so that others can join in.

Let us share your stories; perhaps you or a family member has been given a new lease of life thanks to a community group? Perhaps you helped an isolated neighbour? We would love to hear your “start with hello” stories.

You can email these to hello@avonandsomerset.police.uk

5 ideas that start with “Hello”

1. Smile and chat to your neighbour

2. Discuss the weather with your fellow commuters whilst waiting for the bus

3. Don’t just pack your food shopping in silence, talk to the cashier

4. Take part in an event in your community

5. Look up from your phone!

The value of reaching out is just as valuable to you as the person you reach out to.