created by Rachel Hogg published on 26 January 2017

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Make Sunday the highlight of your month

Gladys is 90 and has been a guest of Contact the Elderly for many years:

"Contact still means a lot to me each month.  It seems that some folk have never heard of Contact.  If they ask me about it I try to explain that small contact groups are all over the country in towns and villages.  Every group has an organiser and she arranges friends and volunteers with cars.  Next has to be arranged twelve venues (one for each month) and a host or hostess who is willing for the group to meet at their house for a simple tea twice a year.

A contact group is kept small, 6 to 8 members, so that everyone can chat to everyone else.  Each month on a Sunday afternoon, rain or shine, the drivers collect the members and take us for a little drive to where we are made welcome and have tea.  There is a lot of talk and laughter during tea and somebody will tell us what they have been doing since our last meeting.

Always there is something to look forward to - friends to meet, ideas to be exchanged.  Time goes all too qucikly but when we say goodbye we all feel that the loneliness has been lifted, that we have plenty of friends and kind people that really care and we all have another get-together to look forward to in a month's time."

What does Contact the Elderly offer?

Contact the Elderly groups have been running for over 50 years.  Volunteers offer companionship one Sunday afternoon a month for people over 75 who live alone, feel isolated, and may have some difficulty getting out and about without some help.

What does each Contact the Elderly group do?

Older people are invited to join a small group of other older guests and volunteer drivers for an afternoon get-together one Sunday afternoon a month.  It is a great way to make new friends of all ages.

What do Contact the Elderly volunteers do?

Your regular volunteer driver will come to your door, walk with you to their car and drive you to the place where the group all spend the afternoon together.  The get-togethers usually start at 3:00pm and end at 5:00pm, when your volunteer driver will return you to your home and escort you to your door.  A Group Co-ordinator makes sure that the Group runs smoothly, keeping everyone up to date about when and where the next tea will be, ensuring drivers and guests know all the arrangements.

Where do we visit for afternoon tea?

Each group of volunteer drivers and their older guests visit a volunteer host's home each month.  Different homes are visited throughout the year.  Your hosts will provide an afternoon tea and a friendly get together.

When would you take me out?

One Sunday afternoon each month - a regular date on your calendar to look forward to.

Are there any costs?

There are no charges involved for guests at all.

How can I join?

If you would like to join a group in your area, please contact: Valerie Walker, North East Development Officer on tel: 0191 2420186 or email: If no-one is available, please leave a message and we will call you back to answer any questions you may have and fill out a simple application form with you.

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