Charity needs help tackling acute loneliness

A CHARITY set up to combat loneliness among elderly people is urgently appealing for volunteers.

Contact the Elderly wants Eastbourne people to spare just a few hours a month to help run its local tea parties and enjoy a cuppa and a cake themselves.

The charity aims to relieve the acute loneliness of isolated people aged over 75 who live alone.

It organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people.

Each elderly 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, talk and companionship.

Contact the Elderly currently runs a popular group in Eastbourne but is making an appeal for volunteers to ensure it continues to thrive.

The charity needs a group co-ordinator who would be able to help organise the tea parties and liaise with the older guests and volunteers to ensure everything runs smoothly each month.

Julia Rivas from the charity said, “The charity is committed to offering a lifeline of friendship to the oldest and loneliest people.

“But our attempts to continue to provide this lifeline for older people in Eastbourne have hit a bit of a stumbling block due to a real shortage of local volunteers to help run the group.

“The co-ordinator role only involves a little extra regular commitment each month in addition to the tea party outings, which everyone involved really enjoys.

“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.”

The charity is also looking to recruit new volunteer hosts and drivers for its Eastbourne group.

Being a driver requires a commitment of just a couple of hours once a month and a host a few hours once or twice a year.

Eastbourne residents interested in volunteering for Contact the Elderly can contact Julia Rivas on 01273 401569 or email julia.rivas@contact-the-elderly.org.uk.