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Contact the Elderly guests star in photography exhibition

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A major photography project featuring Contact the Elderly guests is on tour throughout the UK.

The exhibition, named If Not Now, was created by photographer Michael Whelan who was inspired by the work the charity does in local communities all over the UK to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation among older people.

The touching portraits of the older guests make them the stars of the exhibition and each one is paired with a quote sharing their reflections on life, loneliness and how Contact the Elderly has helped them.

This is something which is very much the ethos of Contact the Elderly, making isolated older people feel part of a community again and encouraging people to share their stories and experiences.

Whelan worked with Contact the Elderly groups for six months while creating the project which shows his commitment and passion for the work the charity does.

The project is one of the ways Contact the Elderly is celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 2015. Since its inception in 1965, Contact the Elderly has taken thousands of isolated older people out to tea and established over a million friendship links in communities across England, Scotland and Wales. The portraits capture precious moments from the tea parties that Contact the Elderly have been organising for the past 50 years. 

The If Not Now portraits were displayed in The House of Commons in December 2014 and have since been exhibited in galleries in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Brighton. The exhibition is currently on display in Blackburn.

One of the final destinations for the exhibition will be at St Paul’s Cathedral, where a selection of the portraits will be displayed. On 29 October at 7pm Contact the Elderly will hold their Golden Jubilee concert which will be a sumptuous evening of orchestral and choral music and readings from special guests to celebrate 50 years of their work.

Tickets are available through the Barbican Box Office and those who are eager to see the exhibition before it closes can buy to enjoy the concert and see a selection of the portraits.

Find out more about If Not Now and learn more about the Golden Jubilee Concert programme plus special guests.

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