As the festive season approaches, public awareness of loneliness amongst older people increases. At Contact the Elderly, we are always glad to hear that more people are thinking about their older neighbours and what they can do to help them feel less lonely and isolated.
Over the Christmas period, we receive many requests from people who would like to invite an older person to their home for Christmas Day lunch. As much as we appreciate these very kind-hearted offers, we have to turn them down, focusing instead on our aim of providing an ongoing friendship link and group to older people throughout the year.
There are many valuable ways you can get involved with Contact the Elderly’s work at a local level, playing a vital role in supporting our work combatting loneliness and social isolation amongst older people.
Millions of older people feel lonely and isolated throughout the year. Latest figures estimate that there are 1.8 million older people who feel chronically lonely. Becoming a regular volunteer with Contact the Elderly means you will be helping older people who might struggle to get out of the house and make friends in their community. Our service has been described as a ‘lifeline’ by our older guests and it makes a real difference to those we help. The commitment of time is manageable but the reward to our guests can be considerable. If you would like to get involved, take a look at our various volunteering roles and see our list of our group locations.
We launched our Be Our Guest campaign this year as we aim to locate the most isolated older people who do not know our service exists. We are encouraging people to think about older neighbours or people in their community who might enjoy trying out one of our tea parties for the first time. Admitting you are lonely can be difficult and taking the first step can be a challenge, so we have developed discreet invitation to tea postcards which you can download, print and pass on to an older person in your neighbourhood. Alternatively, you can download and print our flyer or poster and help spread the word about the campaign where you live, work or spend your time.
By becoming a friend, your regular gift will make a huge difference, ensuring Contact the Elderly is able to continue developing groups in areas where there is a high demand for our service as well as helping maintain our existing groups. Find out more about Becoming a Friend.