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Tea Parties with Friends

About us

Reading Friends

Contact the Elderly has begun working in partnership with Reading Friends, an innovative nationwide programme developed by The Reading Agency and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. In 2019 and 2020 Contact the Elderly will be launching Reading Friends groups in South West England and Scotland.

Reading Friends is an intergenerational programme that empowers, and connects older people experiencing loneliness with volunteers by starting conversations through a shared interest in reading.

Working with volunteers of all ages to build social connections, using reading and books to spark conversations, Reading Friends brings people together to talk about much loved books and discover new ones​​​​, share stories, meet new friends and have fun.

“It is very exciting for Contact the Elderly to be working in partnership with the Reading Agency, a charity committed to the importance of the written word.

By adopting this fresh approach, we can develop new groups for older people and volunteers that are close to our core model of tea parties, but are a different form of social gathering focused on the written word – be that newspapers, poems, magazines, novels or anything else”
Katy Szita, Head of Programme Development, Contact the Elderly

We will be developing groups in the following areas:

South West England

  • Bristol
  • Bridgwater
  • Plymouth
  • Sandford
  • Keynsham
  • Gloucestershire


  • Glasgow & East Dunbartonshire
  • Moray & North Aberdeenshire
  • Stirling
  • Falkirk & Clackmannanshire

Register your interest

If you are interested in joining a Reading Friends group, either as a volunteer or an older person, please submit your details below and we will be in touch with more information.

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