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Scotland’s elderly offered free afternoon tea parties

13th April 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A charity based in North and South Lanarkshire is appealing for older people to join its free monthly afternoon tea parties.

The charity Contact the Elderly, who have seven groups in Lanarkshire, currently welcomes 40 elderly people to its tea parties. These events have offered a lifeline of friendship and now the charity wants to encourage other older people to enjoy the benefits of a good cup of tea, some cake and a lengthy catch-up with other guests.

The scheme also has a volunteer driver who collects guests from their home and drives them to the tea party. This means elderly people who have mobility problems and are in need of a walk in shower and other mobility aids just to get around their own home, do not need to stress about travelling to the tea party.

Speaking to the Cumbernauld News, Caroline McGinlay, who is a support officer at Contact the Elderly charity, said, “Our groups in North and South Lanarkshire are incredibly popular and everyone has a lovely time. We know there are more people out there who would benefit from a nice afternoon and want to encourage people to pick up the phone if they, or someone they know, would enjoy a bit of baking and a blether.

“We understand it may seem daunting to pick up the phone and put yourself out there but our guests tell us every week how glad they are that they did just that and have formed lasting friendships in their groups.”

Scheme helps fight loneliness

The Contact the Elderly’s free afternoon tea parties initiative is aimed at battling loneliness in the elderly, which has become a major issue in recent years.

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 17 percent of older people in the UK are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11 per cent are in contact less than once a month.

These are worrying statistics considering over half (51 per cent) of all people aged 75 and over live alone.