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Saturday, Apr 17, 2021

People urged to ring a bell on Christmas Eve to combat loneliness

People urged to ring a bell on Christmas Eve to combat loneliness

It is over six months since the final ‘clap for carers’ and for many, the long months of the pandemic grinding on have even more difficult since then.

While the nation came together to clap in the beginning, the second wave of disease has seen less of the communal spirit that marked the beginning when we were all in a national lockdown together.

To try and change this, there’s a plan for a new way for people to get together and combat loneliness and ‘help Santa on his way’.

People are going to come out onto the street and ring bells for two minutes starting at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

If (like us) you don’t have a bell, you could join in with a doorbell or try tinkling a spoon on a wine glass like you were about to make a speech.

Some will no doubt bang on pots and pans like they did during Clap for Carers, and if it helps the reindeer make their way from Lapland then so be it.


The Prime Minister and his fiancee Carrie Symonds have said they will take part.

Boris Johnson spoke with organiser Mary Beggs-Reid, saying that he, Ms Symonds and baby son Wilfred ‘will be out ringing bells’.

Mary Beggs-Reid, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, said her event is ‘more needed now than ever’ ahead of her call with Mr Johnson this morning.

‘He said him, Carrie and Wilfred will be out ringing bells to help Santa on his way,’ she said after the phone call.

‘They love the idea and will look for bells to join us. They said they support anything helping Santa fly his sleigh for the children.’


Captain Tom will be joining in the bell-ringing


The event has been endorsed by Captain Sir Tom Moore, who called it ‘a brilliant initiative at a time where it is really needed’.

When first imagined, the bell-ringing was just going to be for a small community in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

But so many liked the idea that people from all over the world have now said they will join in, and over 400,000 have joined a Facebook page for it.

Mrs Beggs-Reid said: ‘Especially with the recent news, this is more needed now than ever.

‘It was just a simple bell to start with but it’s evolved into so much more, so that for two minutes on Christmas Eve nobody feels alone.’

The 41-year-old, who works as an estate manager, was contacted by No 10 after Mr Johnson expressed an interest in ringing bells on Christmas Eve.

She had been due to travel to London to meet Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds on Monday, but due to the tough new restrictions introduced in the capital on Saturday, they instead took part in a phone call on Tuesday morning.

Mrs Beggs-Reid said: ‘I think it’s fantastic that the Prime Minister is getting behind an everyday mum like me and trying to help communities as much as we can.’

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