Urgent call for volunteers to help lonely older people in Leamington

Making friends at Contact the Elderly tea parties
Making friends at Contact the Elderly tea parties

A charity is urgently appealing for new volunteers to help isolated older people who live alone in Leamington Spa

Contact the Elderly, a UK charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and isolation among older people, has been providing monthly social gatherings for the over 75s for over 50 years. Through the group, strong bonds have been formed and friendships made – and 95 per cent of the older guests that the charity helps say they now have something to look forward to.

Contact the Elderly are looking for volunteers to help run and support their monthly meetings

Contact the Elderly are looking for volunteers to help run and support their monthly meetings

The Leamington Spa group currently welcome a regular 10 guests each month but to ensure survival of the group the charity is making an appeal for a volunteer group coordinator. Their role would be to help organise the tea parties and liaise with the older guests and volunteers to ensure everything runs smoothly every month.

Sharon Litterick, who has been coordinating the group for the last 10 years, said: “One Sunday afternoon a month, our group get together to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea. The guests love an afternoon of chat and company. All the volunteers get together to plan party dates for the next 12 months at the start of the year, so each month all I need to do as group coordinator is ring the guests to see who'd like to come along, and then confirm with the host and drivers.

She adds “Ringing the guests in the days leading up to the party is a lovely job as they are always so pleased to have something to look forward to, and we have a great team of volunteers who are all very committed to the group. The group coordinator role could easily be shared too, if friends wanted to take on the role together. It's a great way to meet new people and make a difference to the community in which you live.”

Contact the Elderly support officer, Hayley Stokes, said: “For older people who live alone, Sundays can be particularly long and difficult. The monthly events make a real difference to the lives of isolated older people living in Leamington Spa, but we need a group coordinator to help organise them.

"The coordinator is essential to the running of the group and without one, the charity will not be able to continue the service in Leamington so if you can spare a few hours a month to help your local community, we’d love to hear from you.”

Other volunteer positions include drivers who accompany guests from their home to a local tea party and hosts who can welcome a small group of people into their home once or twice a year for tea, cake and conversation.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Contact the Elderly, or if you know someone aged 75 and over who is living alone in Leamington Spa who could benefit from coming along to a tea party, get in touch with the charity by calling 0800 716 543 (freephone) or emailing hayley.stokes@contact-the-elderly.org.uk