If you enjoy listening, are able to chat easily with older people and have a good sense of humour, this could be the volunteering opportunity for you! Obviously, it’s important that our volunteer drivers are safe and responsible and group coordinators are good communicators, organised, proactive and able to motivate others. Please click here for information about health & safety at the tea parties.
It’s always useful for groups to have ‘reserve’ drivers who can help out when one of the regular drivers is unavailable. In some groups we also have a couple of ‘rota – drivers’ who alternate with each other.
If there is a lift then, yes. Most of our older guests cannot negotiate flights of stairs so if there isn’t an alternative, it might be worth considering hosting with a friend at their place, or in a local club or church.
It depends on how many steps there are to the toilet. Many of our older guests cannot climb a flight of stairs, in which case perhaps you could ask a neighbour to ‘lend’ you their toilet for an afternoon, if theirs is more accessible.
There isn’t a set menu of things you have to provide. Normally the host puts on some sandwiches, cakes and plenty of tea! When you sign up as a host you will receive the ‘Volunteer Host Handbook’ which will give you more ideas. Please click her for information about safe catering.
Yes. We keep the groups fairly small and just ask the host to have enough seats for the older people. Volunteers will also help you with the tea, so you can get to talk to your guests.
All volunteers are covered by Public and Employee Liability Insurance whilst involved with the work of the charity. Drivers are expected to have car insurance and to let their insurance company know about their volunteering activity (which should not affect their premium).
We pay out-of-pocket expenses to Group Coordinators, to cover the extra administration (e.g. postage and telephone) and travel costs that can be incurred with this role.
Although our tea parties groups will meet in December and may well have a Christmas-themed get together, Contact the Elderly does not specifically organise Christmas events and none of our groups meet on Christmas Day. Instead, we focus on our tea parties happening monthly throughout the year, offering a regular social opportunity to our older guests. Meeting every month means our older guests build up real and lasting friendships which make even more of a difference. For Christmas, or Christmas Day, specific events, we recommend people speak to community organisations (such as churches, community groups and others) close to them as many of these run events which look after local people and they will be very likely to happily accept all offers of extra help! You can also look through the Links page of our website for information and suggestions of other charities and organisations that help older people and may offer Christmas services.