Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tea parties for the elderly


National charity Contact the Elderly is working with Haddington Library to organise monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for local isolated older people. They are urgently appealing for volunteers living in Haddington to spare just a few hours a month to help run the tea parties - and enjoy a cuppa and a cake themselves! There will be an open day on Wednesday 2 July in the Star Room of the John Gray Centre in Haddington to tell people more about what's involved.

Contact the Elderly aims to relieve the acute loneliness and isolation of older people who live alone by organising monthly Sunday tea parties for small groups of older people and volunteers within their community, offering a regular and vital friendship link every month. Each older guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver, and is taken to a tea party, where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship.

Haddington Library is very keen to host these Sunday afternoon tea parties on its premises and together with Contact the Elderly is making an appeal for volunteer drivers who could use their own cars once a month to collect one or two older people and accompany them to the gathering. They would also like to hear from anyone who is able to help organise the tea parties and liaise with the older guests and volunteers to ensure everything runs smoothly each month.

Contact the Elderly’s Area Organiser for Edinburgh, Anne Grindley, said: “We are committed to offering a lifeline of friendship to the oldest and loneliest people, and are delighted that Haddington Library have made this generous offer to host monthly tea parties. All we now need is a group of local volunteers to help drive and/or run a group in Haddington. Being a driver requires a commitment of just a couple of hours once a month and the local organiser role only involves a little extra regular commitment each month in addition to the tea party outings, which everyone involved really enjoys! So I’m calling for anyone who is interested in giving something back to their community to please come along to the open day or get in touch with me as soon as possible.”

Trina Gavan said “we are delighted to work together with Contact the Elderly to offer this opportunity to the older members of our community. We already rely on wonderful volunteers who deliver items regularly to our housebound readers and we are hopeful that enough people will step forward to help us with this fantastic initiative.”  

Those local to Haddington and interested in volunteering as a driver or organiser can come along on Wednesday 2 July to an information session in the Star Room, John Gray Centre, Haddington, between 2:00pm and 3:30pm or 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Alternatively contact Trina Gavan, tel: 01620 820682, email: tgavan@eastlothian.gov.uk or Anne Grindley, Edinburgh Area Organiser: email anne@ravelrig01.demon.co.uk

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