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Charity urgently appeals for volunteers to help combat loneliness in Poole

PUBLISHED: 10:34 31 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:34 31 March 2015

Archant

Contact the Elderly, the only charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and isolation among older people, is urgently appealing for volunteers living in Poole to spare just a few hours each month to help with the running of local tea parties – and enjoy a cuppa and a cake themselves.

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The charity aims to relieve the acute loneliness of isolated older people, aged 75 and above, who live alone, by organising monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups within local communities – providing a regular and vital friendship link every month.

Each older guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver, and is taken to a volunteer host’s home, where they join a small group for tea, chat and companionship. The charity is hoping to set up a new group in Poole, however, it is currently struggling to recruit: volunteer drivers who are able to collect older guests from their homes and accompany them to the gathering each month and a volunteer coordinator to help organise the monthly tea parties.

Contact the Elderly’s National Volunteer Support Officer, Suzan Hyland, said: “The charity is committed to offering a lifeline of friendship to the oldest and loneliest people, but our hopes of extending this lifeline to even more older people in Poole are currently fading due to a real shortage of volunteers in the area.

“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! 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.”

Poole residents interested in volunteering for Contact the Elderly once a month as a driver, or twice a year as a host, can contact Suzan Hyland, National Volunteer Support Officer on 020 7881 2361 or email suzan.hyland@contact-the-elderly.org.uk

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