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Charity looks for volunteers to help elderly

By Louise Shaw

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A CHARITY which aims to eradicate loneliness among older people is on the lookout for volunteers as it hopes to expand its work to Speyside.

Contact the Elderly offers a lifeline of friendship to socially-isolated older people through regular, free Sunday afternoon tea parties.

The Contact The Elderly charity is looking for local volunteers.
The Contact The Elderly charity is looking for local volunteers.

Volunteer drivers chauffeur guests to and from the gatherings, held once a month in a local host home, where they can enjoy a couple of hours tea, cake and conversation in a small group.

The charity, which organises scores of tea parties all over Scotland, already has groups in Elgin and Buckie.

Now plans are being made to extend the work in the area and with the charity looking for locals across Speyside who would like to join the party as guest of volunteers.

Denise Robson, development officer for Contact the Elderly said: "We'd really like to hear from older people themselves or from anyone who knows someone they think would enjoy an afternoon out with us.

"We're also hoping that the idea of hosting a small party will appeal to more locals willing to open their home to some new friends in need of company.

"We know just how much our regular guests and hosts look forward to catching up. One Contact the Elderly guest recently said that attending the parties had made her the happiest she had been since losing her husband. It's just amazing the difference a little kindness and companionship can make."

Hosts are expected to hold a tea party two or three times a year so volunteering only entails a few hours of their time.

Drivers usually volunteer one Sunday afternoon a month, transporting the same one or two guests with whom they can build real friendships.

The charity are also looking for more Elgin volunteers with the aim of starting up a second local group.

Denise added: "In today's fast-paced life the needs of the older generation can become neglected but the premise of Contact the Elderly is so simple - a chat over a cuppa.

"We are confident the Speyside community will come forward to help brighten the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents."

To find out more about becoming a volunteer or guest with Contact the Elderly contact Denise Robson on 01542 285010 or denise.robson@contact-the-elderly.org.uk

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