Contact the Elderly2 Grosvenor Gardens
SW1W 0DH London
|Phone No.:||+44 (0)20 7240 0630; +44 (0)20 7420 5817|
|Fax No.:||+44 (0)20 7379 5781|
|Contact person:||Gemma MacNulty|
- Volunteers are welcome.
- Aid organization
- Social policy/disabled persons
Contact the Elderly, established in 1965, is the only national charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people.
Through over 380 groups across Britain, the charity provides a regular, consistent and vital friendship link every month to more than 3000 older people over the age of 75 who live alone and isolated, without family or friends nearby.
At the same time, the charity also encourages its 4,900 volunteers to find enjoyment and fulfilment in achieving the charity’s aim and making new friends.
The Contact the Elderly model is based on a simple yet very effective concept – that of monthly tea parties for older people and other volunteers within their community, which brings people together, develops fulfilling friendships and support networks – and thereby helps to reduce loneliness and isolation.
Contact the Elderly recruits volunteer hosts and drivers to help arrange the monthly tea parties for small groups of elderly people (up to eight), aged 75+, who live alone and isolated.
Once a month, normally on a Sunday, each elderly member is collected from their own home by a volunteer driver, and is taken to a volunteer host’s home, where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship. The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the charity’s drivers and older members remain the same.
Over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship.
Whilst we work closely with numerous statutory and voluntary organisations concerned with older people, our service remains unique.
We provide a group activity that encourages:
• Inter-generational links
• Friendships to develop between older group members and volunteers
• Operate at weekends, when most community services for older people are not available. Moreover, Sunday has been highlighted to us by our members as being a particularly lonely day of the week.
• Are kept purposely small, and they meet in the welcoming environment of someone’s home.
Increasingly, research highlights the link between loneliness and ill-health in later life, including depression, certain heart conditions and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Gemma MacNulty is the Partnerships Development Officer of Contact the Elderly.
For other net participants we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.