EastEnders star Linda Marlowe has spoken about how effective Contact the Elderly tea parties are in tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst older people. Linda, who has appeared in the BBC soap since 2014 playing the role of Sylvie Carter, is a keen supporter of our work bringing communities together over tea and cake.
''I’m very lucky in that I have a big family and work in a vocation I love,'' says Linda. ''However, as a person of a certain age, if I didn’t have this support network, it’s true that my life might be very different.
''Loneliness in older age can often sneak up on you and can be difficult to admit, but Contact the Elderly’s tea parties are a simple solution. They’re a good bit of fun and make a meaningful difference to the guests’ lives.''
One area of focus for our work is reducing the stigma around loneliness. As part of research conducted in 2016, it was revealed that almost half of us believe that admitting to loneliness is difficult. Our tea parties offer a relaxed, informal environment for a small group of older guests and volunteers to meet one Sunday a month. The regularity of the tea parties means friendships blossom quickly and everyone gets to know each other very well.
The new year is well underway, but if you are looking for a 2017 challenge, then why not do one while raising money for Contact the Elderly? If you are interested in taking part in any events and raising money to combat loneliness, then our fundraising team would love to hear from you! Take a look at our fundraising pages to find out more.