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Tea Parties with Friends

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1 Million Minutes: Jim's story


Every year, more than 100,000 older people will lose their partner. This year, we are working with Good Morning Britain to raise awareness of loneliness caused by bereavement, and encouraging people to pledge their time to volunteer and help support an isolated older person living in their community. Here is Jim’s story:

I met my wife in Naples. I said, "Well, I've got to go home pretty soon, but I can't go home without you. Will you marry me?" And my marriage lasted 64 happy years, and it wasn't long enough. When my wife left me, I was devastated. But then I thought, my wife always told me, "You must live your life that's been given to you."

Then I was introduced to Contact the Elderly through a friend. Every month, somebody hosts sort of a tea party for us. I put it in my calendar and it gives me that feeling, I've got something to look forward to. We're picked up by a car. Sometimes it's quarter of an hour drive, sometimes it's farther away, may be half an hour. You just got to sit there relaxed and just watch the scenery. Quite often, it's in places that I haven't been before. Sometimes it's somewhere I know, and I'd say, "I know, I've been here." It's not so much the tea and the cakes, but it's the important bit is getting together, being able to talk to one another. You're taken in as one of their family for that afternoon. God bless these people that do this sort of thing, because they don't know really how much it's appreciated. You're sorry that the day is ended, but you feel exhilarated. You've unburdened what's been pent up for a month. Maybe you wanted to talk about something. And then, you can relate to somebody there and tell them. Oh, it's a journey, that it's so important.




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