Volunteers make a real difference

With the UK facing further impending cuts, Contact the Elderly is calling on Times Series readers to spare some time helping lonely older people, whose level of social contact is being affected by the depletion of services and rising costs in the standard of living.

Research shows around ten per cent of elderly people in the country are often or always lonely, while almost one in five don’t see anyone for a whole week at a time.

With the population forecast to continue ageing, the issue of acute loneliness among our vulnerable elderly communities needs to be addressed by all of us.

Contact the Elderly is a charity tackling acute loneliness among older people, over the age of 75, through free, monthly tea parties for small groups of elderly.

The gatherings are supported by volunteers, who bring individuals together, helping them to form new friendships and to develop support networks — and thereby reducing social isolation.

We know from almost 50 years of experience, that our tea parties really do make a difference to the lives of older people.

According to research among 1,000 of the elderly we support, 83 per cent now feel part of their local community again; 85 per cent have befriended other older people in their groups and 86 per cent feel less lonely.

To enable us to meet the challenges of the current economic climate, we need to find even more volunteers in the borough of Barnet.

If you would like to volunteer for Contact the Elderly, please email me at isabella.wise@contact-the-elderly.org.uk

Isabella Wise
North London Development Officer Contact the Elderly

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