New social group launches for older people in Hemel

Inter-generational friendship with Contact the Elderly
Inter-generational friendship with Contact the Elderly

A national charity is launching a new social group for elderly people aged 75 and over in the Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted area this summer.

Supported by a network of volunteers from the local area, Contact the Elderly organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people who live alone and struggle to get out by themselves.

The aim is to offer a regular and vital friendship link every month in volunteers’ homes, and the charity’s work is currently being featured on Channel 5 TV’s Do The Right Thing with Eamonn and Ruth.

Each older person is collected from home by a volunteer driver and taken to a volunteer host’s home for the afternoon.

The group is welcomed by a different host each month, but the drivers remain the same so, over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends. Volunteers are of all ages and backgrounds, and the tea parties offer a way for friendships to flourish between generations.

Regional development officer Jonny Wood said: “It’s such a simple idea, but the opportunity to have a chat and a laugh together amongst friends once a month could be a real life saver for elderly residents in the community who otherwise barely see anyone.”

The group would also welcome more volunteers, especially drivers who would be willing to pick up one or two elderly guests once a month and accompany them to the tea parties, share in the fun and friendship and then return them home afterwards.

Anyone interested in volunteering or in attending the group can contact Jonny Wood on 01263 805013 or 
jonny.wood@contact-the-
elderly.org.uk or Georgina Sells on 020 7078 8998 or 
georgina.sells@contact-the-elderly.org.uk