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Editor signs up to help lonely on Christmas Day in daily’s campaign

A regional daily’s editor has become the first volunteer to sign up for his newspaper’s Christmas anti-loneliness drive.

Portsmouth daily The News is hoping to recruit 100 people for its ‘Christmas Calls’ campaign, which is run with Age UK and will pair readers up with someone who is facing Christmas Day and the festive season alone.

Volunteers will then make a phone call on 25 December to those with whom they are paired.

Mark Waldron, editor of The News, announced he had volunteered in a post on Twitter.

Portsmouth 100

Announcing the campaign’s launch, Mark said on Monday: “Today we want to find 100 people to bring a smile to a lonely person in the Portsmouth area this Christmas. I’ve signed up – so that’s 99.

“We’re asking volunteers to help Age UK by paying for the DBS checks – the only other cost is a little of your time.”

The campaign’s launch provided a splash for The News on Monday, pictured above.

Mark added: “It is so important that this year, more than most, that we reach out to people who face spending the festive season alone.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns have affected everyone and we want to bring a little Christmas cheer to those who really need it and I think those choosing to sign up and help others will get a lot from it as well.”