Call for volunteers to support isolated older people

A charity is urgently appealing for new volunteers to help lonely older people in Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

Contact the Elderly, a UK charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people by providing monthly social gatherings for people aged 75 and older in the area and across the UK. Through the group strong bonds have been formed and friendships made – and 95% of the older guests that the charity helps say they now have something to look forward to.

The charity needs people in Grimsby and Cleethorpes to spare a few hours to help run its Sunday afternoon tea parties – and enjoy a cuppa and a cake themselves. The local group is very popular but in order to ensure that it continues to thrive, it needs volunteer drivers who are able to collect older guests from their homes and accompany them to the gathering each month, volunteer hosts to welcome the group into their homes for tea once or twice a year and a volunteer coordinator to help organise the monthly tea parties.

Contact the Elderly’s Development Officer, Jane Murphy, said: “Sundays can be particularly lonely for older people who live alone. Our monthly events make a real difference but we have hit a bit of a stumbling block due to a real shortage of local volunteers to help run the group.

Anyone who can spare a couple of hours one Sunday a month, has a driving licence, a car and a capacity for drinking tea, is eligible. For those interested in becoming a host, it would just involve a couple of hours once or twice a year. It’s not a big commitment, and our volunteers genuinely get as much out of the experience as our older guests, so I’m calling for anyone who is interested in giving something back to their community to please get in touch with me as soon as possible.”

Contact the Elderly has been dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people for more than 50 years and is supported by 11,000 volunteers. Last year it helped 6,223 older guests in 813 groups across the UK.

Allen Redding, a volunteer for the group encouraged others to come forward, said “I’ve seen loneliness from a different angle since volunteering. These tea party events aren’t just for elderly people who never leave the house – they’re beneficial for those who’ve had families and now miss the warmth of family dining. I can see that our guests really appreciate these Sunday afternoons and look forward to them every month.”

If you’re interested in volunteering for Contact the Elderly, or you know someone aged 75 and over who you think could benefit from attending one of the groups, get in touch by calling 0800 716543 or emailing

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