Urgent action needed to
reach older isolated people in the North West
"GROUPS of volunteers that organise
monthly tea parties for isolated people aged 75 and over in the North West
are struggling to reach older isolated people in their communities..."
national charity Contact the Elderly told us in a press statement.
Residents in the areas around:- Southport, Stockport, Crosby, Wigan, Warrington, Blackpool and
Ormskirk, are being encouraged to spread the word about the Tea Parties to
encourage older people in their areas who live alone and have little contact
with family and friends to sign up to attend the groups. Contact the Elderly's North West Regional Development Officer, Gwen
Lightfoot, said:- "We've been overwhelmed by the response from willing
volunteers to the Christmas John Lewis advert and the Bisto Empty Chair
campaign in January, but unfortunately we are still not getting to the people
who need our help.
It is increasingly hard to reach isolated older people. They are so often
feeling trapped in their homes; not getting out a lot and not speaking to a
single person for days.
Everyone knows someone on their street or in their local area who could do
with getting out of the house and socialising. We urge residents in the
North West to think about someone who would benefit and ask them to get in
touch with me. Our volunteers pick guests up and take them to a Sunday
afternoon tea party, often the loneliest time of the week for many people."
Loneliness among older people in communities is getting more and more
widespread. An estimated 2.5 million older people are lonely, and 8 in
10 people find it difficult to admit to feeling isolated.
Contact the Elderly operates by forming small local groups made up of guests
and volunteers. One Sunday afternoon a month each group meets for tea, cake
and company. Hosts take it in turns to welcome guests, usually once or twice
a year and volunteer drivers take guests safely to the tea party and then
home again. This is a free service.
The groups are small, usually around 10 to 15 people so that everyone can
really get to know each other. Guests and volunteers make lasting
friendships and afternoons are spent laughing and enjoying each other's
Contact the Elderly Regional Development Officer, Gwen Lightfoot, would like
to hear from anyone interested in joining the groups as a guest and can be
contacted via:- 01925 728 969 or send an