Once a month, normally on a Sunday afternoon, each older guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver, and 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 guests remain the same. This means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship. You can read about the three different ways to volunteer with Contact the Elderly below, or get started straight away by filling in the application form.
Drivers collect the same older guest/s each month and take them to a different local host's home where they all enjoy an afternoon tea party. There are usually three to five drivers in a group and there are sometimes also one or two reserve drivers to cover for holidays and emergencies.
Requirements: All you need is a full driver's licence, a valid insurance and access to a car. As a driver we ask you to supply two references and we also take out a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) or a PVG before you start as a volunteer.
Your commitment: We ask our drivers to commit to three to four hours one Sunday a month and to contact their older guest/s a few days before the monthly tea party to make sure they know when they are going to pick them up.
Hosts provide a warm welcome and a simple afternoon tea lasting between two and three hours for six to eight older guests and three or four drivers. Often hosts involve family and friends and two or three generations join in.
Requirements: The only essentials are a big teapot, a downstairs / ground floor toilet and easy access to your house (e.g. not too many steps to your front door). We also ask that you have enough seating for eight older people.
Your commitment: Our hosts commit to one or two tea parties a year – possibly more if they want. The Group Coordinator (see below) will call to check dates and other arrangements and nearer the time will confirm how many guests to expect.
Coordinators ensure everything runs smoothly each month. They are also often volunteer drivers too.
Coordinators organise the monthly group outings by liaising with the hosts and the drivers so that everyone is clear about the time, date and place. After the drivers have been called by the coordinator, they in turn contact their older guest/s.
Support and advice for coordinators is readily available from National Office, Development Officer or Support Officer, if required.
Requirements: We ask all group coordinators for two references and we also take out a DBS or PVG check before you start as a volunteer.
Your commitment: The coordinator role is very important to ensure the tea parties run smoothly. It is the coordinator's job to be organised and keep everyone informed, planning the monthly host schedule, assisting with DBS / PVG checks and liaising with new volunteers and guests.
Contact the Elderly is looking for volunteer Area Organisers across England, Scotland and Wales.
This role involves three main areas of work:
To apply, please email email@example.com outlining your experience, how your experience matches the role and where you’re based.
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