Charity celebrates 50 years of tackling loneliness with Peterborough tea party

Olive Handley, Joan White, June McSparron and Daphne Guthrie sitting down while Isabella Oliphant blows out the candles
Olive Handley, Joan White, June McSparron and Daphne Guthrie sitting down while Isabella Oliphant blows out the candles
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A charity celebrated 50 years of combating loneliness in older people with a ‘Big FifTEA’ party.

The Peterborough group of Contact the Elderly, which hosts monthly tea parties for isolated older people, marked the anniversary on Sunday (April 19) at a home in Deeping.

Every month I see the difference that the tea parties we hold here in Peterborough make to local older people who are lonely and isolated,

Nyree Ambarchian

Isabella Oliphant blew out the anniversary cake candles in front of Olive Handley, Joan White, June McSparron and Daphne Guthrie.

Contact the Elderly is now appealing to Peterborough residents to help them to reach more isolated older people locally with many over-75s cut off from society,

The charity aims to relieve the acute loneliness of isolated older people, aged 75 and over, by hosting monthly tea parties in the homes of volunteer hosts.

Volunteers are able to provide older guests with much needed contact to make new friendships with local older people and younger volunteers.

Organiser Nyree Ambarchian, from Werrington, said: “Every month I see the difference that the tea parties we hold here in Peterborough make to local older people who are lonely and isolated.

“Friendships have formed between younger volunteers and older guests who really look forward to spending an afternoon having a tea, cake and a good chat.

“If anyone knows of someone who would benefit from coming along they should contact us, and if you have a few hours each month to spare to support our work with local people we also need drivers and volunteer cake makers.”

Mary Rance, CEO of Contact the Elderly, said: “We’re very proud to be celebrating our 50th anniversary and are extremely grateful to our incredible volunteers for making our work possible.

“Fifty years is a remarkable landmark and in addition to celebrating our achievements to date we must think about the future of loneliness.

“The number of isolated over-75s is growing, and there are still one million lonely older people in England, Scotland and Wales who are completely cut off from society and need our help.

“Contact the Elderly has set ambitious targets to double its service delivery over the next five years. In order to accomplish this task we need as much public support as possible in our Golden Jubilee Year and beyond.”

For more information on how to volunteer with Contact the Elderly, or to come along to a tea party, visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk or free phone 0800 716543.