Can you help elderly people in Great Yarmouth area escape isolation by organising tea parties?

Tea parties will help the elderly. Picture: Archant

Tea parties will help the elderly. Picture: Archant - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2010

A new volunteer group is inviting older people to be their guest at tea parties to help elderly people socialise and make new friends.

Contact the Elderly, a national charity with more than 10,000 volunteers, is launching a new social group for elderly people in the Great Yarmouth area this summer.

Supported by a network of volunteers from the local area, the charity organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people, aged 75 and over, who live alone.

It is now planning to set up something similar on the east coast.

The aim is to offer a regular and vital friendship link every month in volunteers' homes in and around Yarmouth, Gorleston and Bradwell.

Each older person will be collected from their home by a volunteer driver and taken to a volunteer host's home for the afternoon.

The group will have a different host each month, but the drivers remain the same.

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Group co-ordinator Jo Gilmore is keen to offer a warm welcome to older people who would like the chance to enjoy good company, a nice cup of tea and a change of scenery, but who struggle to get out by themselves.

She said: 'It's such a simple idea but the opportunity to have a chat and a laugh together amongst friends once a month could be a real life saver for elderly residents in our community who otherwise barely see anyone.'

The group would also welcome more volunteers, especially drivers who would be willing to pick up one or two elderly guests once a month and accompany them to the tea parties, share in the fun and friendship and then return them home afterwards.

Jonny Wood, Contact the Elderly's regional development officer, said: 'It's not only the elderly guests who benefit.

'Loneliness can hit us at any stage in life, and volunteering for Contact the Elderly is a great way for people of all ages to make a vital difference to others whilst making new friends themselves.'

If you are an older person who would like to know more about joining the group, or a potential volunteer who would like to help, contact Jonny Wood on 01263 805013 or email jonny.wood@contact-the-elderly.org.uk

You can find out more about Contact the Elderly at www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk

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