A charity that aims to eradicate loneliness among the older generation is aiming to expand its work in Ayrshire.
Contact the Elderly offers a lifeline of friendship to socially-isolated older people through regular, free Sunday afternoon tea parties.
Volunteer drivers chauffeur guests to and from the gatherings in a local host’s home where they can enjoy a couple of hours of tea, cake and conversation in a small, friendly group.
The charity, which organises scores of tea parties all over Scotland, has had a group covering Ayr and Prestwick for several years.
Now a second group, to cater for the Troon/Irvine area, is in the process of being established but an invitation is being extended to locals across all four towns who would like to join the party as guests or volunteers.
Angela Rae-Murray, Contact the Elderly Support Officer, said:
“We’d really like to hear from older people themselves or from anyone
who knows someone they think would enjoy an afternoon out with us. We’re also
hoping that the idea of hosting a small party will appeal to more locals willing to open
their home to some new friends in need of company.
“We know just how much our regular guest and hosts look forward to catching up –
one Contact the Elderly guest recently said that attending the parties had made her
the happiest she had been since losing her husband. It’s just amazing the difference a
little kindness and companionship can make.”
The charity’s Ayrshire/Prestwick group, which has been running for more than eight years, is hoping to hear from potential guests and hosts. The Troon/Irvine group is looking for more guests and volunteer hosts and drivers.
Hosts are expected to hold a tea party once or twice a year so volunteering only entails a few hours of their time. Yet for the guests, who often find it difficult to get out and about, a change of scene and the chance to socialise, adds immeasurably to their enjoyment of life.
Drivers usually volunteer one Sunday afternoon a month, transporting the same one or two guests with whom they can build real friendships.
“In today’s fast-paced life the needs of the older generation can sometimes be
neglected,” said Angela. “But the premise of Contact the Elderly is so simple – a chat
over a cuppa – that we’re confident the Ayrshire community will come forward to
help brighten the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents.”
To find out more about becoming a guest or volunteer with Contact the Elderly in Ayrshire, please contact Angela Rae-Murray at email@example.com or Tel 07902 246062.