Can you spare an hour? Hunt on for volunteers to help combat loneliness among elderly in South Manchester

The hunt is on for volunteers in South Manchester to help combat loneliness amongst elderly people.

National charity Contact the Elderly, is looking for volunteers to host monthly tea parties across Chorlton, Didsbury, Withington, West Didsbury and Heaton Moor in a bid to help older people expand their often-limited social circle.

The tea parties run on a monthly basis, within small groups in various different communities and provide a perfect platform for the elderly to forge relationships and expand networks with the volunteers and fellow peers.  

A monthly tea party can make a positive difference to someone’s life, with volunteers such as Alicia Custis, making a substantial difference to the lives of over-75s in the South Manchester region.

She said: “Volunteering at the tea parties is so rewarding, it isn’t a big commitment at all and anyone could do it. I was so overwhelmed by how much it means to the guests, the monthly teas provide a lifeline for them and it’s the one thing they look forward to each month.

“The concept is so simple, and we as volunteers get so much out of the experience. It’s such a privilege to hear all the amazing stories of the guests, and to enjoy all of this over a cup of tea and cake is even better!”

Contact the Elderly currently provides more than 54,000 social opportunities for secluded older people per annum, across almost 600 groups.

Since 1965, Contact the Elderly has provided regular face-to-face contact via more than 7,700 volunteers

Mary Rance, the charity’s CEO, said: “We’re proud to be celebrating our 50th anniversary but demand for our work is ever increasing. The number of isolated over-75s is growing, and there are still one million lonely older people in England, Scotland and Wales, that need our help.”

As part of its continuing Power of Contact campaign to recruit more volunteers, Contact the Elderly aims by 2020 to double the number of isolated older people it supports.

For more information on how to volunteer with Contact the Elderly or if you want to come along to a tea party, visit: or free phone 0800 716543.

Picture courtesy of Fixers, with thanks.

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