LONELINESS IS A GROWING EPIDEMIC AMONG OUR ELDERLY POPULATION
Minehead and its surrounding area has one of the highest percentages in the country of people aged over 65 many of whom live alone . For the past 5 years a number of these folk have been given the opportunity of being part of a local group taken out once a month for Sunday afternoon tea. This is thanks to a handful of willing volunteers who give up their time to give these isolated and often lonely people the opportunity of companionship and conversation with others of a similar age. These small social gatherings bring individuals together helping them to develop fulfilling friendships and support networks and this simple act of kindness has proven to be a very effective and enjoyable solution to combating their isolation and loneliness.
In the last 2 years the demand for places within the tea party groups has expanded to the extent that there is now a growing waiting list of elderly people just longing for the chance to join, highlighting the need for a further groups to be developed in Minehead and the surrounding area.. More volunteers are urgently needed to either drive or to host a tea party so that those on the ever increasing waiting list are able to share in this enjoyable activity.
Contact the Elderly is the only charity solely focused on aiming to combat one of the greatest challenges facing society today namely the loneliness and isolation among our rapidly ageing population. Once a month, normally on a Sunday afternoon, each guest is collected from their home by a Volunteer Driver, and taken to a Volunteer Host’s home, where they join a small group (normally between 6-8 guests) for refreshment, conversation and companionship. The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month but the drivers and guests remain the same. This means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness becomes a thing of the past. This service is completely free.
If you think you could spare a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, either as a driver or a host please get in touch with Fiona Franklin, South West Support Officer 01934 316578 Fiona.firstname.lastname@example.org. or Christine Payne, Contact the Elderly Coordinator for Minehead, Exmoor & the Quantocks, 01643 841276 email@example.com