Help needed with the tea and sympathy for the elderly

Constance and Izzy
Constance and Izzy

A group which hosts monthly Sunday tea parties for isolated older people in Leamington has appealed for more volunteers and support for its work.

It comes as its parent organisation, Contact the Elderly, marks 50 years of helping combat loneliness in older people.

And to mark the occasion the Leamington group, along with hundreds across the country, celebrated with a Big FifTEA party recently.

Supported by a network of volunteer drivers and hosts, the tea parties in Leamington are held in private homes to provide the older guests with much-needed regular face-to-face contact.

Contact the Elderly tea parties always take place on a Sunday when most other services are unavailable and older people can feel particularly lonely.

Sharon Litterick, one of the charity’s Leamington volunteers, said: “Every month I see the difference that the tea parties we hold make to older people who are lonely and isolated.

“Friendships have formed between younger volunteers and older guests, who really look forward to spending an afternoon having a tea, cake and a good chat.

“Having seen the difference that our parties make to the health and happiness of older people in our community, I would urge local people to support Contact the Elderly in any way they can.

“We’re in need of more volunteers and donations to help us reach more isolated older people and would appreciate any support that local people or businesses can give.”

The tea parties usually have up to eight guests and four or five volunteers drivers.

Although the venues change, each guest has the same volunteer driver each month.

Mary Rance, chief executive officer of Contact the Elderly, said: “We’re very proud to be celebrating our 50th anniversary and are extremely grateful to our incredible volunteers for making our work possible.

“The number of isolated over-75s is growing, and there are still one million lonely older people in England, Scotland and Wales who are cut off from society and need our help.

“Contact the Elderly has set ambitious targets to double its service delivery over the next five years.”

For information on how to volunteer or if you want to be a guest at a tea party visit: www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk or use free phone 0800 716543.