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New charity calls on all Australians to pledge to tackle loneliness this Christmas

Christmas pledges are coming in thick and fast as part of a new campaign to fight loneliness, with promises of home-cooked gingerbread men, free concerts and puppy visits already on the list.

New charity Be Someone for Someone is behind the 'More The Merrier' initiative aiming to give the gift of social connection to thousands of Australians who may be experiencing loneliness this Christmas.

The campaign challenges people to pledge to include someone in their Christmas activities, via an online community pledge wall.

Founded by Feros Care, the charity hopes some people will make the ultimate pledge - to set another seat at the table for Christmas lunch or dinner - and Feros Care staff are leading by example.

Feros Care's Tarnya Sim has invited someone she knew would be alone for Christmas; while head of Be Someone For Someone Jo Winwood is extending her family Christmas to a friend whose family is interstate.

The pair hope others will join the crusade so that no one has to spend Christmas alone.

"More the Merrier is Be Someone for Someone's first campaign and a call to arms to all Australians to reach out to somebody this Christmas," said Ms Winwood.

"It challenges people to identify someone in their community who will be alone for Christmas and invite them with open arms.

"It's a win-win - not only making a merry for Christmas for others, but highlighting the satisfaction we get when we give of ourselves - the more we do for others, the merrier our Christmas is too.

"While an invitation to Christmas Day is fantastic, it's not the only option. There are plenty of other ways you can involve someone in the festive season and we're encouraging many ways to make a Christmas connection, big or small."

Research has shown loneliness is known to have a bigger impact on health than smoking, physical inactivity and obesity, accelerating premature death by more than 25 per cent - worse than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

According to research commissioned by the Salvation Army, more than 2 million Australians will feel socially isolated during the festive period.

Ms Winwood said for most people, Christmas was a time of joy, family and rest, but for some, it represented loneliness and isolation.

"Hardship and loneliness hit the hardest during the Christmas period," she said.

"Let's band together and reach out to someone in a bid to create a more connected world and help someone feel a little less 'alone' during the festive season. It's not charity, it's Christmassy.

"Make an extra tray of mince pies, invite someone to help decorate your tree, take someone Christmas shopping or get them around for a drink.

"You could organise a street party in your neighbourhood, sing Christmas carols at a local nursing home, or buy a practical gift for someone who is homeless.

"And don't forget this is the digital age so if you can't reach out physically, Skype or FaceTime someone who may otherwise be alone.

"We want this movement to make waves around the country because we know that the flow-on effects will have a lasting impact on all those who participate - both for the people performing, and receiving, the acts of kindness."

Feros Care CEO Jennene Buckley said Be Someone For Someone was a cause close to the heart of people in her organisation.

She said Feros Care supported more than 60,000 people each year - along with their supporters and families - and as experts in caring for people, the organisation had seen up close the growing crisis of loneliness.

"We've seen how other countries are tackling loneliness in a major way - and we want to do the same right here in Australia, because humans are social creatures and we crave and benefit interaction with each other," said Ms Buckley.

"We want to lead the way in raising awareness of the impacts of loneliness in our community, and the triggers that can cause us to feel lonely.

"We feel it is important that people re-engage their innate skills of sharing, connecting and taking care of each other.

"Be Someone For Someone has exciting plans to implement and scale practical and impactful tools and programs to create ways for us to connect with each other in a meaningful way, and we will also lobby for policy, social and service reform to tackle loneliness systemically.

"Our vision is to address the growing issue of loneliness in Australia and help people of all ages live happier, healthier lives."

For more information on Be Someone for Someone and to make your pledge, visit besomeoneforsomeone.org.