What do we do? One Sunday afternoon a month, throughout the UK, Contact the Elderly groups meet for tea and companionship. These groups are a lifeline of friendship for isolated older people. Each older guest is assigned a volunteer driver and together they become part of a small group invited to a volunteer hosts’ home for tea. They visit a different host each month but the group remains the same and relationships grow. A warm welcome; a family home; meeting old friends and new, provides older members with companionship and a vital link with the community from which they have become isolated. This simple idea is the essence of Contact the Elderly. Who do we help? Our older guests usually:· live alone, are generally well into the 80s and 90s, are unable to get out without a little assistance, have few or no friends or relatives nearby and feel lonely and live isolated lives Group Roles available The Group coordinator arranges the monthly outings, rebooking the annual host schedule and is the main contact for the group’s volunteer drivers and hosts. The coordinator welcomes new volunteers into the group, ensuring they understand their roles and responsibilities. Coordinators also meet and assess new older guests prior to them joining the group. The volunteer drivers will use their own car to pick up and accompany one or two older people just one Sunday afternoon each month. They collect the same older guest from their home, driving them to the host’s home to spend a couple of hours together over tea before returning home. Drivers are not required to do any lifting only assisting with a steadying arm.Regular drivers are responsible for the monthly contact with their older guests, reminding them of the date and checking their attendance. If you are not able to drive every month, please consider applying as one of our reserve drivers to cover gaps when regular drivers are not available. Hosts provide a warm welcome, a friendly atmosphere and a simple afternoon tea with sandwiches and a few cakes for the older guests and the volunteers (twice a year). Hosts need a downstairs toilet, no more than three steps and seating for six or more older people (many hosts use a mix of hard and soft chairs). Over time this group of volunteers and older guests get to know each other well and together they spend many Sunday afternoons full of fun and laughter, sharing stories over cake and cups of tea.

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