With the support of our volunteers we are able to help older people reconnect with their community and break out of the cycle of social isolation. Through our monthly Sunday afternoon gatherings we support over 6,000 older people across the whole of the UK.
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 refreshments, 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.
Please note that some of the roles mentioned below might not be available in your area.
Volunteer Drivers collect and accompany the older person to the social gathering once a month. The monthly gathering will normally take place at another volunteer’s home, and part of your role will be to liaise with other volunteers and older guests to finalise pick-up arrangements.
As a Volunteer Host you will host your local Contact the Elderly group one to two times a year. You must be comfortable with inviting people into your home, and providing guests and other volunteers with refreshments and a few light snacks. Group size can range between four to eight people.
Group Coordinators plan the monthly meet-ups and ensure that they run smoothly so that the older guests in the group are taken out each month.
Group Coordinators are organised and friendly, setting up a schedule of events for the year and liaising with the volunteer hosts and drivers. Group Coordinators will also be in contact with older guests and will usually attend the tea parties, ensuring that they go well and both the older guests and volunteers enjoy themselves. You will also be required to keep the regional support officer up to date with any changes to the group.
We ask Group Coordinators to attend the majority of the monthly tea parties for their group. Often Group Coordinators have a car to assist with volunteer driving, but this is not a requirement.
Group Coordinators have regular contact with their local Support or Development Officer in the Contact the Elderly team, who provide support and advice as required.