Charity aims to reach out to older people in Rutland

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Groups of volunteers that organise monthly tea parties for isolated people aged 75 and over in Rutland are struggling to reach older isolated people in their communities.

Residents in Rutland are being encouraged to spread the word about national charity Contact the Elderly’s free, monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties and encourage older people in their areas who live alone and have little contact with family and friends to sign up to attend the groups.

Contact the Elderly’s national development officer, Hannah John, said: “It is increasingly hard to reach isolated older people. They are so often left feeling trapped in their homes - not getting out a lot and not speaking to a single person for days.

“Everyone knows someone on their street or in their local area who could do with getting out of the house and socialising.

“We urge residents in Rutland to think about someone who would benefit and ask them to get in touch with me. Our volunteers pick guests up from their homes and accompany them to a Sunday afternoon tea party, often the loneliest time of the week for our guests.”

An estimated 2.5 million older people are lonely, and eight in 10 people find it difficult to admit to feeling isolated.

Contact the Elderly operates by forming small local groups made up of guests and volunteers. One Sunday afternoon a month each group meets for tea, cake and company. Hosts take it in turn to welcome guests, usually once or twice a year and volunteer drivers take guests safely to the tea party and then home again. This is a free service.

The groups are small usually, so that everyone can really get to know each other and guests and volunteers make lasting friendships.

A number of locals from Rutland have come forward to sign up as volunteers.

Once the older guests are in place the charity will be able to bring this vital service to the area.

Hannah would like to hear from anyone interested in joining the groups as a guest or becoming a volunteer and can be contacted via 020 7240 0630 or e-mail hannah.john@contact-the-elderly.org.uk