'Contact means a lot to me. There is always something to look forward to – friends to meet, ideas to be exchanged. Time goes all too quickly but when we say goodbye we all feel that the loneliness has been lifted, that we have plenty of friends and kind people that really care and that we all have another get-together to look forward to.'
From an elderly guest
'Driving on a Sunday afternoon is such a small thing out of my time but the older guests have probably been waiting all month for it. They also meet up with the same people each time so they get to see their friends, which they ordinarily wouldn't be able to do. It’s a real lifeline for them. It’s made me really aware of how lonely people can be, especially the older guest I drive. He’s not active so he can’t just go down to the local shops or get on the bus and go the local library.'
From a volunteer driver
‘I saw the coverage on the Boris Johnson and Barbara Windsor tea party. I had just been saying that I wanted to volunteer for a charity in the New Year and it seemed like destiny. I know that sounds a little cheesy! I absolutely love cream teas and work in a care home, so it just seemed the ideal volunteer opportunity. I filled out the application forms straight away. I have such a great time hosting tea parties. I would love to do it every month if I could.’
From a volunteer host
'Contact the Elderly has been a valuable a resource for me as a clinical psychologist working in a community mental health team for older adults. Knowing I can refer some clients on to the group, once weve completed a piece of work and their mood and self esteem have improved, can be a real protective factor in their ongoing psychological well-being and quality of life. These friendship groups are particularly relevant as social isolation can be such a risk factor for depression. Contact the Elderly has been a real life line for some people I have worked with.'
Michelle, clinical psychologist