Charity appeals for support for lifeline service

Contact the Elderly is seeking volunteer drivers and hosts.
Contact the Elderly is seeking volunteer drivers and hosts.

A charity offering a lifeline of friendship to lonely older people is looking for volunteer drivers in the Laurencekirk area.

Contact the Elderly organises monthly tea parties across Scotland to brighten the lives of members of the older generation who live alone and feel socially-isolated.

Often guests have difficulty getting out and about but the charity’s drivers act as chauffeurs, providing transport to and from the parties which are held in a local host’s home.

Its Laurencekirk group is such a runaway success, with 18 volunteer hosts signed up and a waiting list of guests eager to join the gatherings, that a second group is on the cards. As a result, the organisation now needs to recruit more drivers to ensure as many potential guests as possible can enjoy an afternoon out.

Jane Galloway, the group’s co-ordinator, who has also been a host and a driver, said it only involves giving up a few hours each month but the rewards far outstrip the time commitment.

She said: “I really love the pleasure that it gives the older people and if I could do more, I would. That’s why I’m keen to get another group going.”

The Sunday afternoon tea parties, hosted by volunteers in Laurencekirk, St Cyrus, Marykirk and Fettercairn, give guests the opportunity to enjoy a couple of hours of cake, conversation and company over a cup of tea.

Jane added:“It’s a simple concept but it works beautifully and really helps to ease the loneliness that can blight an older person’s later years.

We’d be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to join our pool of drivers and help us expand our work in the area. ”

The organisation would also welcome enquiries from potential new hosts.

Further information is available from Caroline Peter on 01561 405011 or caroline.peter@contact-the-elderly.org.uk or visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk.