It’s been a tough year for many, but Alzheimer’s Society supporter and stand-up comedian Jo Brand is determined to help spread some festive cheer.
Jo wants people across the South West – where more than 92,510 people are living with dementia – to pop on a pair of elf ears, pull up their festive tights and shake a leg in some jolly jingle-bell slippers on Elf Day to raise some much-needed smiles and funds, helping Alzheimer’s Society reach as many people as possible affected by dementia, now more than ever.
The charity’s Elf Day falls on Friday 4 December – but you can hold your own dress up day and let your elf out to play at any time through the month. Need some elf-spiration? Here are Jo’s five ways to get involved:
- Get your thinking (elf) cap on and host a Christmas Quiz online
Being in lockdown can test the best of us! Why not be a brainy elf and host a virtual festive quiz with family and friends? Ask all participants to dress as elves and pay a fee to take part. Alzheimer’s Society is here for everyone affected by dementia, but the pandemic has hit the charity hard financially. By taking part in Elf Day and raising money, you will be helping people affected by dementia who need support now more than ever.
- Jingle your way through a Zoom team meeting – making sure your boss wears the ‘head elf’ badge
Snowed under? Forget any workplace woes and get your colleagues to suit up in elf hats on your next conference call. People with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus - devastatingly, thousands have died and many more have been badly affected by the isolation of lockdown. If your kind-hearted co-worker elves donate to Elf Day, they’ll be helping pay for Alzheimer’s Society’s vital support services, which have been used over 2.7 million times since March, showing people need us more than ever.
- Swap a chef’s hat for an elf hat and have a Christmas bake-off
Candy, cakes, cookies! Every elf has a sweet tooth to satisfy. Conjure up some jolly gingerbread with the family – in person or virtually – and see who can win the title of ‘head chef elf’. If you have a family member with dementia, include them in the festive fun, helping to reduce social isolation that many are experiencing.
- Pull up your (stripy) socks and get sponsored to do some ‘elfy’ exercise
Jingle-bell jog anyone? Getting daily exercise – whether a sponsored walk or setting a goal to run several miles - can keep you fit and ‘elfy’ and improve mental health too. Physical activity can help boost feel-good hormones, reduce anxiety and depression and when you’re wearing ‘athletic’ elf attire while you exert yourself, you’ll be raising smiles as well as your spirits. So beat those winter blues!
- Join us for Alzheimer’s Society’s Virtual Carols at Christmas celebration
Fill your day with festive fun on Thursday 17 December, then join Alzheimer’s Society in the evening as the charity hosts a live virtual carol concert. Elf-up in the day with activities, then come together with BAFTA award-winning actor and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, Carey Mulligan, from 6.30pm, to sign along to well-known carols with some special guests, all from the comfort of your home. Tickets are free and can be found at alzheimers.org.uk/carols, but we ask that audiences consider making a donation in return for their ticket. Singing can improve brain activity, wellbeing and mood, so this is a perfect event to share with and make memories for loved ones living with dementia.
Sign up for your free fundraising pack at alzheimers.org.uk/elfday where you’ll find lots of other ideas and support