Working With Contact The Elderly
Contact the Elderly is a national charity which aims to alleviate acute loneliness among isolated, older people, aged 75 and above, by organising free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people.
Since the charity was established in 1965, they have helped more than 100,000 lonely older people living in England, Scotland and Wales. Contact the Elderly currently supports nearly 3,800 older people every month, with the help of over 6,000 volunteers.
A donation of £2,000 from the Jo Walters Trust will be used towards the development and training of volunteers, and in particular will enable the creation of a new North & West Bristol group, which one of our Trustees will be leading.
Community across the generations
Contact the Elderly works across the generations. Recently a National Citizen Scheme group of 16 and 17 yr olds in Bath met representatives from the charity and learnt about loneliness amongst the elderly. With awareness of the issues, they wanted to help. They raised funds by bag packing and waxing their legs! Another group of teenagers in Croydon hosted a tea for their local group as part of a citizenship challenge.
A recent host with a baby due in January, and with both her parents living overseas, wants to be part of her local group so that her baby will have regular contact with an older generation.
A volunteer driver (27) said
"Following the death of my grandfather, I wanted to spend time with other older people, who don't have family and friends for company. I learn a lot from the older generation and love listening to their stories. It would be nice to think that when I'm older, I have visitors coming to see me... it is incredibly rewarding and doesn't involve a huge time commitment"
A guest (80) said
"Contact the Elderly came into my life at such an important time. I had just lost my partner, I had lost my parents and I'd been in hospital for a major operation. The tea parties give me something to look forward to and gave me the chance to meet other people. I feel that they have helped me to be part of the world again, I still look forward to it very much each month".