Here at Dormouse we want to tell you about a really worthwhile organisation!
What if you never left your home for years, you did not see another soul for weeks on end, if you had no living friends or relatives? Perhaps you cannot ever imagine this, but for many elderly people this is in fact a daily reality
Contact the Elderly is a national charity that aims to alleviate the acute loneliness and social isolation experienced by frail, very elderly people who live alone without family or friends nearby. Their scheme is beautifully simple, operating through a growing network of small groups run by volunteers. One Sunday afternoon a month each small group of volunteer drivers collects the same group of elderly guests; after a short drive they enjoy a few hours together in the home of a volunteer host, who welcomes the elderly guests and drivers, putting on a simple afternoon tea. The same group of drivers and elderly people goes to a different host each month.
For many of the frail, very elderly people this is their only social outing in each month. It offers a unique lifeline of warm friendship they would not otherwise experience. Loneliness is not a disease, but it does cause a lot of pain; isolated people are far more likely to be admitted to hospital, and be less well physically and mentally than people with friends and social contacts.
However to respond to the growing need and demand for the service, Contact are desperate to attract many more volunteers; particularly volunteer drivers with cars who can spare about 3-4 hours one Sunday afternoon a month and hosts who can put on a simple tea party for a group as little as once a year. All that is needed is a warm welcome, a simple tea a downstairs toilet, and a large teapot! See the benefits of volunteering click here or visit the website at www.contact-the-elderly.org
"I felt that I had come out of a dark tunnel into the light. Before I joined Contact, I thought that my life had ended - and now it's started again!" an elderly guest.