LETTER: Tackling isolation among elderly

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Contact the Elderly, the charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and isolation among older people, is urgently appealing for volunteers living in Horsham to spare just a few hours each month to drive one or two older people to a local tea party - and enjoy a cuppa and a cake themselves!

The charity aims to relieve the acute loneliness of isolated older people, aged 75 and above, who live alone, by organising free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups within local communities – providing a regular and vital friendship link every month.

Each older guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver, and taken to a host’s home, where they join a small group for tea, chat and companionship.

However, the popular group in Horsham is currently at risk of closure due to a lack of volunteers who are able to drive and accompany older guests in the group to and from the gatherings each month.

The charity is committed to offering a lifeline of friendship to the oldest and loneliest people, but this lifeline is currently under threat in Horsham, due to a real shortage of volunteer drivers in the area. Anyone who can spare a couple of hours one Sunday a month, has a driving licence, a car, and a capacity for drinking tea, is eligible!

It’s not a big commitment, and our volunteers genuinely get as much out of the experience as our older guests, so I’m calling for anyone who is interested in giving something back to their community to please get in touch with me as soon as possible.

Contact Julia Rivas, Surrey, West and East Sussex development officer, on 01273 401569 or email julia.rivas@contact-the-elderly.org.uk

JULIA RIVAS

Contact the Elderly, Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH