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Contact the Elderly founder retires as chairman

Contact the Elderly founder, Trevor Lyttleton MBE, has announced he is stepping down as Chairman.
Trevor announced his retirement during a speech at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral last week, where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Liverpool Hope University, in recognition of his outstanding achievements.
After leaving university at the age of 29, Lyttleton founded Contact the Elderly by encouraging the younger members of his local London community to establish regular personal contact with their isolated older neighbours.
This small act of kindness grew into what Contact the Elderly is today: a thriving national charity with over 7,700 volunteers – just like Trevor - providing regular face-to-face contact to more than 4,600 isolated older people through monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties.
In his speech in Liverpool, Trevor said: “It is a great privilege to receive an honorary doctorate for founding Contact the Elderly and developing its work over the last 50 years.
“Since I founded the charity in 1965 we have created over a million face-to-face friendship links, and provided a vital lifeline to over 100,000 isolated older people who live alone.
“But in our Golden Jubilee year, despite our achievements, we don’t rest on our laurels in the face of the escalating challenges surrounding older people.
“I think it is fitting, that as we pass on the torch at our Golden Jubilee, I announce today my retirement after five decades as Chairman.
“I now call on students, young professionals and volunteers nationwide to carry on caring as the heroes of today and the ambassadors of tomorrow in tackling loneliness in old age – one of the greatest challenges of our time.”
Trevor, who was awarded an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen in 2007 for his commitment and dedication in setting up Contact the Elderly, will maintain his personal commitment by continuing to volunteer as a regular host for the very first group that launched in Westminster.
Contact the Elderly’s Honorary Treasurer and Deputy Chair, Christian Grobel, has been appointed as the new Chairman. Grobel takes on this role at a vital time and will govern the charity going forward in order to meet the objectives of doubling its service delivery by 2020.
Christian said: “Having first volunteered for Contact the Elderly nearly 15 years ago, it is a great privilege to be taking on this role in the Golden Jubilee year.
“I look forward to building on the incredible achievements of Trevor Lyttleton, with the Trustees, Staff, supporters and our amazing volunteers, to extend our vital hand of friendship to many more lonely older people.”
This year we are celebrating 50 years of combating loneliness with our Golden Jubilee concert at St Paul’s Cathedral on October 29. An evening of choral and orchestral music and readings from special guests will celebrate all that we have managed to achieve in 50 years. Full information on the concert can be found here and tickets can be purchased here

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