(photo posed by model)
Loneliness, particularly for elderly people, is a problem throughout the year, but is amplified at Christmas.
One pensioner decided that, this year, he didn't want to spend Christmas Day alone, so wrote a note and stuck it to his local supermarket's notice board.
"Where can a lonely pensioner and widower find a place in a small group for Christmas," it read.
The widower, from Berlin, Germany, might not have expected the response he received. His message was spotted by a civil servant called Femina Lisa, who shared it on Facebook, and was inundated with replies from people offering a space at their table.
Lisa's post has shared thousands of times. Hundreds have invited the man over for Christmas lunch.
The 27-year-old told Struttgarter Nachrichten: "I never expected that there would be so many [responses]. After a certain point, I couldn't keep up with it anymore."
Lisa said she shared the note as she was afraid nobody would see it. "Who looks at the blackboards in supermarkets nowadasy?" she asked.
The interest has been so high that supermarket employees have had to take the notice down. The pensioner has also been a little overwhelmed by the kind gestures, but pleased too that so many people have offered to help.
"[He] was very touched", Lisa added, after she helped him sift through all the messages. He first put the call out in late November, with plenty of time to sort a visit out.
While this Berlin widower is all set, many others will be alone during this festive season. There are lots of ways you can help. One is the Loneliness Project .
There are also a great number of pubs which offer free lunch on December 25 to anyone who might otherwise be alone.
On your own on Christmas day? don't be. Come to us, we'll give you a free Turkey dinner & a glass of vino/beer. We mean it, FREE. No strings, marketing ploys, hidden agendas or swerves. Free means free, simple. We'd love to see you. pic.twitter.com/Gf0wpr3XXS— The Alexandra (@TheAlexSW19) November 28, 2017
One is the Alexandra in Wimbledon, London (above). If you know of any others, please email email@example.com.