CONTACT the Elderly, the national charity dedicated to helping socially isolated older people reconnect with their community, launched its 7th group in Thurrock over the weekend, providing a vital lifeline of support to a new group of socially isolated older people in Thurrock.
The charity’s seventh Thurrock group launched with a tea party generously hosted by Ye Old Plough House, Bulphan. The guests and volunteers were provided with tea and cup cakes by Ye Old Plough House, and enjoyed an afternoon of conversation and company.
Contact the Elderly’s service is simple but incredibly effective. Each month, a new volunteer host puts on a tea party for the same group of older guests, all of whom live alone and want to get out more and meet new people. The charity provides each older guest with a regular volunteer driver, who collects them from their home, accompanies them to the tea party, and then drives them home afterwards.
This model means that any older person, regardless of their mobility or financial situation, can attend the charity’s tea parties. The tea parties allow isolated older people to socialise with the same group of people every month, empowering them to develop their own new local support network and make new local friends.
Surveying of the charity’s older guests demonstrates how effective this simple model is at alleviating loneliness: 95% of older guests say the tea parties “give them something to look forward to”. One of the charity’s older guests Joan, 88, said:
“When you get to my age, all you do is look back at the life you had, but Contact the Elderly has given me something to look forward to, something to live for.”
Contact the Elderly’s volunteer group coordinator for Thurrock, Loraine Coleman, said:
“It’s brilliant to be able to launch this new group. Every time we put on a tea party, we can see just how much it means to the older guests. To be able to provide a lifeline of friendship and company for a whole new group of older people in our community is wonderful, and we’d love to keep extending our service so we can reach even more socially isolated older people in our part of the world.”
Contact the Elderly needs more local volunteers to get involved so the charity can extend its service in the area to reach more isolated older members of the community in Thurrock. If you’re interested in getting involved as a volunteer, or would like to come along to one of Contact the Elderly’s tea parties as a guest, get in touch either by Freephone (0800 716543) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).