Reaching out to the elderly with free afternoon tea parties

Older people who live alone in the region are invited to join free monthly afternoon tea parties.
Older people who live alone in the region are invited to join free monthly afternoon tea parties.

A charity which has seven groups in North and South Lanarkshire is appealing for older people who live alone in the region to join its free monthly afternoon tea parties.

Contact the Elderly offers a lifeline of friendship to more than 40 guests in the area. It hopes to encourage more older people to enjoy the healing properties of a good cup of tea, a slice of cake and a nice chat with other guests and the charity’s volunteers.

Guests are collected by a volunteer driver and accompanied by them to a volunteer host’s home in their local area on Sunday afternoon a month.

Caroline McGinlay, support officer at Contact the Elderly, said: “Our groups in North and South Lanarkshire are incredibly popular and everyone has a lovely time. We know there are more people out there who would benefit from a nice afternoon and want to encourage people to pick up the phone if they, or someone they know, would enjoy a bit of baking and a blether.

“We understand it may seem daunting to pick up the phone and put yourself out there but our guests tell us every week how glad they are that they did just that and have formed lasting friendships in their groups.

“Additionally, if you know an older person who you think would enjoy this then we would encourage you to find out a little more and chat to them about it.

“Loneliness in older age is becoming ever more common and we are warding that off – one cup of tea at a time.”

Having recently celebrated its Golden Jubilee, Contact the Elderly is the only national charity, which since inception, has focussed solely on relieving the acute loneliness and isolation of older people who live alone, without family, friends or other support networks nearby.

The Contact the Elderly model is based on a simple yet very effective model: free, monthly tea parties for small groups of older people and volunteers within their community - which bring all ages together, develop fulfilling friendships and support networks, and give everyone something to look forward to.

To find out more about becoming a guest of Contact the Elderly in North or South Lanarkshire, please contact Caroline on 0141 812 1555 or caroline.mcginlay@contact-the-elderly.org.uk.