An initiative that aims to ease loneliness among the older generation has enjoyed its first gathering in Buckie on Scotland’s Moray Firth coast.Contact the Elderly organises regular Sunday afternoon tea parties across the country for socially-isolated older people and has now established a group in the town.
Guests, who may find it difficult to get out and about, are chauffeured by the charity’s volunteer drivers to a get-together in a local volunteer host’s home. There they can enjoy a couple of hours of conversation and company over a cuppa and some cake.
First to host the group was Portgordon resident Mary Vance who was joined by Moray Council’s Buckie councillor Sonya Warren who was keen to lend her support the venture.
Councillor Warren said:
“I'm delighted to see this valuable project start in the Buckie area. We have a growing aging
population here in Moray, which in itself brings many challenges. Social isolation and
loneliness is a big concern and greatly impacts on the wellbeing of the older members of
“I would like to thank everyone involved in starting this project here, it's a great idea.
Hopefully other folk in the community will get on board by volunteering to help support the
sharing of hospitality and friendship across the generations and helping the more elderly
members of our community. “
Contact the Elderly development officer Denise Robson, who was involved in setting up the group, said:
“Loneliness is a growing problem all over the country and we’re working hard to combat it in
Moray. We already have a successful group in Elgin and are looking to start a second group
there. We’re also hoping to start another in Forres so we’re currently looking for
hosts and drivers in both towns. And in Aberdeenshire volunteers are needed for a group in
“It doesn’t involve a huge commitment – just a couple of hours a month for the drivers and
we’d like hosts to invite a group two or three times a year. But anyone who has been to one
of our parties will know just what a difference that small amount of time and kindness
make to the life of an older person who doesn’t have much opportunity to socialise.”
There are currently opportunities for new guests to join the party in all these areas and Contact the Elderly would love to hear from an older person themselves or from anyone who knows someone who would enjoy an afternoon out in a small, friendly group.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer or guest with Contact the Elderly in Scotland, please email development officer Denise Robson.