Older guests from three Contact the Elderly groups enjoyed a tea party at their local fire station in Sidcup on Sunday 17 June, as party of a community initiative organised by the firefighters.
Almost 50 older guests and their volunteer drivers from the Bexley 94 group, the Orpington 70 group and the new Bexley-Bromley border group tucked into a huge spread of cakes and cups of tea. There was also the chance to visit the fire station’s museum, containing firefighting paraphernalia from throughout the years and an opportunity to ask the firefighters questions about their work.
Later in the afternoon, some of the older guests had lots of fun trying on the firefighters’ helmets and jackets. The tea party ended with a friendly bet on a game of horse racing, with all the Contact the Elderly guests and volunteers putting their names down on miniature horses.
Hilda, 92, an older guest from one of the three groups, who tried on some of the firefighting equipment, said: “It was an absolutely marvellous afternoon. It has made me feel young at heart. Where do I sign up?”
Neil Fox, Watch Manager at Sidcup Fire Station, said: ““As firefighters we are in a unique position to be able to interact with large sections of the community. Older people are a group who are particularly at risk of having a fire and they are often forgotten about. The Green Watch at Sidcup Fire Station feel honoured to have hosted this tea party and it was a pleasure to bring a smile to the faces of so many of our elderly residents.”
Contact the Elderly’s East London Development Officer, Katy Szita, said: “Thank you so much to Sidcup Fire Station for hosting such a fantastic tea party for our older guests and volunteers. The firefighters were very friendly and the older ladies loved chatting to them. The Bexley-Bromely border group also launched for the very first time, so it was definitely a more unusual setting for the inaugural tea party.”
We are still looking for more volunteer hosts for the newly launched Bexley-Bromley group. If if you live in the area and would like to host a Sunday tea just once or twice a year, you can apply here