They’re better known for fighting fires and saving lives but members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service turned tea party hosts at the weekend (April 21).
Staff from the Blairgowrie retained unit swapped their usual kit for teapots and sandwich platters when they joined the quest to alleviate loneliness and invited guests of Contact the Elderly for afternoon tea.
The events are usually held in a local host’s home but the Blairgowrie station, which also acts as a community hub, came to the rescue when staff heard more hosts were needed.
Chris Smith, the watch manager and local authority liaison officer, hosted the party along with crew manager Lorna Rumgay. He said:
“This was just the perfect opportunity for us to meet some of our older residents so were
delighted to be able to entertain them.
“We deal with some of the most vulnerable members of our society in our daily work but it
was lovely to be able to get together in such a happy, positive atmosphere. The concept of
Contact the Elderly’s tea parties is a great idea and we’ll definitely make plans to
welcome the group back again.”
The charity’s Blairgowrie group launched almost a year ago and is keen hear from more potential guests and volunteer hosts.
Support officer Lorna Dunbar said:
“The guests get such a lot out of our parties and look forward tremendously to the monthly
gatherings. For an older person, who lives alone and is perhaps feeling a little bit isolated,
it’s a great boost to have that regular date in the diary.
“They also have no worries about how to get to the events as we have a fantastic fleet of
volunteer drivers who collect them and chauffeur them door- to-door.
“We’d really like to hear from anyone who would enjoy an afternoon out in some lively
company and from locals who could host a small party. We only ask them to entertain the
guests once or twice a year, so it’s not a huge commitment. But the effect of that small
contribution cannot be under-estimated. The difference it can make to an older person’s
life is hugely rewarding.”