While we pride ourselves on offering practical support for Manage at Home customers, emotional support is just as essential. So this week we’re bringing Contact the Elderly – a charity dedicated to tackling loneliness in later life – into the spotlight.
The idea is simple. Every month, groups around the country hold Sunday afternoon tea parties for over 75s who live alone. The groups are small and every guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver. For those with little social interaction in their day to day lives, these afternoon tea parties offer companionship and friendship.
Age UK, who also run volunteer befriending campaigns, found that half of all older people think of their TV as their main source of company, and around 1 million will often go an entire month without having a conversation with another person. So any move to help them build new relationships can have a very real impact.
Because group sizes are carefully managed, the tea parties are fun and welcoming without becoming intimidating for new guests. But while group size is kept small, their number is growing. There are already hundreds across England, Scotland and Wales, with more on their way. You can find your nearest location here, or contact the charity to find out if they have any plans to start a group in your area. And if you’re interested in getting involved as a driver, you can find out more about volunteering here.