Elderly people are underrated. All that life experience, wisdom, tales of times gone by, so many interesting conversations to be had, yet somehow, they seem to be a sector of society that are often forgotten.
For a while I’ve had an urge to get involved with an organisation that specifically reaches the elderly, providing social interaction, friendship and fun, because, let’s face it, what is life about if enjoyment isn’t a feature?
I did some research and settled on a fantastic charity called Contact the Elderly. The idea is that once a month on a Sunday afternoon (which is very often the loneliest day of the week for older folk as most other agencies are closed) volunteer drivers will pick up between six and eight elderly people from their homes and drive them to a volunteer host’s house for afternoon tea.
It’s a very simple concept which works wonders for the most isolated and lonely elderly people, injecting a bit of social interaction and fun back into their often insular lives.
I applied to be a host, but was told that unfortunately there weren’t enough volunteers in my area to warrant setting up a group. Never one to be deterred, I called on a few friends and local churches and lo and behold within a matter of weeks we had enough volunteers to form a group. We’re still in the early days, but are looking forward to our first tea party, hopefully in July.
It really doesn’t take much to make a huge difference in these precious lives. If you’re capable of putting on a simple afternoon tea spread, have a downstairs loo, and an easily accessible house then you could host. If you have a car and a spare Sunday afternoon once a month then you could drive. It really is that simple.
I’d really like to encourage you to at least check out the website if not volunteer. I’ll let you know how it goes in July, and please do let me know if you end up volunteering in your area.