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Tea Parties with Friends

About Us

Who Are We?

Contact the Elderly is the national charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst older people living in the United Kingdom. Our mission is to empower older people to make new social connections, and break out of the cycle of social isolation. 

Our History

Contact the Elderly was set up by Trevor Lyttleton MBE in the early 1960s after he met an older woman in Marylebone who lived alone. Saddened by the realisation that she was just one of many older people living like this in the borough, Trevor decided to make a change and hosted his first tea party in March 1965.


Supported by a nationwide network of over 12,000 volunteers, Contact the Elderly organises free monthly social events for small groups of isolated older people. 

We provide a group activity that encourages:

  • Inter-generational links
  • Friendships to develop between older group members and volunteers

Our groups:

  • Operate at weekends, when most community services for older people are not available. Moreover, Sunday has been highlighted to us by our older guests as being a particularly lonely day of the week.
  • Are kept purposely small, and they meet in the welcoming environment of someone’s home.


3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, with 2 million of these aged 75 or older. 1.9 million older people have said they often feel ignored or invisible, and two fifths of all older people say that the television is their main source of company.

Our Impact

  • 95% of the older people we work with say they now have something to look forward to
  • 55% of guests said that their wellbeing has improved since joining us
  • 85% say what they enjoy the most about the gatherings is the company


"I feel uplifted after going to a gathering on a Sunday afternoon. I've met new people and made new friends. It's just amazing how the volunteers welcome four or five older people into their homes as their friends. It's a marvellous feeling and I'd definitely recommend it to other people in my situation." 

Irene - 92





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