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Tea Parties with Friends

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"Loneliness is something we all feel but rarely admit."


 Ellie is 28 and started volunteering with Contact the Elderly three years ago after her Grandmother passed away. In 2018 she ran the London Marathon to raise money for Contact the Elderly and is a Group Coordinator for her local group in Wimbledon. Here she explains why she got involved and what volunteering means to her.

I decided to volunteer after my Grandma passed away. I remember how lonely and isolated she felt, even when her family lived relatively close to her. Loneliness is something we all feel but rarely admit.

 I suffer from anxiety and depression and have felt, first hand, how crippling it is to believe you are alone in the world. Contact the Elderly is a charity that helps alleviate isolation and bring moments of happiness to all involved.

I enjoy meeting the older guests and interacting with like-minded volunteers. I really enjoy hearing the guests talk about their stories and share their memories. It’s amazing what you can learn!

I have mixed feelings when I leave a tea party. I feel happy and touched – when a guest shares with me how much they love the tea parties and how thankful they are that people care. But other times I feel sad. To hear how lonely some of the guests are and how they wish they had more contact with the outside world… Contact the Elderly is doing everything they can, but I wish there were other charities who reached out to vulnerable older people. Particularly in large cities where we feel so isolated.  

It is amazing to see the strong bonds formed by the older guests and volunteer drivers. One of the guests was invited to a driver’s wedding recently.

The great thing about volunteering is that it’s flexible. Your help makes a world of difference so even if you can only manage a few days a year, you will have helped a great deal. It’s a wonderful way to give back and feel part of a community.


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