Retford: Charity calls on volunteer tea party hosts to help transform the lives of older people

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With many older people in Retford suffering from loneliness, Contact the Elderly is urgently appealing for anyone who is the ‘hostess with the mostess’ to welcome a small group of people into their home for a tea party, just one or two afternoons a year.

The charity aims to relieve the acute loneliness experienced by older people who live alone by organising free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups within local communities.

Each older guest is taken to the volunteer host’s home by a volunteer driver, where they join a small group for tea, chat and companionship for a couple of hours. The monthly gatherings exist as a vital lifeline of friendship for the charity’s older guests.

The regular outings for the popular group in Retford are, however, currently under threat due to a lack of volunteers able to host the tea parties. Being a host requires a commitment of just a couple of hours, once or twice a year, and anyone who has a downstairs toilet, easy access to their home and a good sized teapot is eligible.

Contact the Elderly’s Midlands development officer, Pamela Walker, said: “We’re committed to offering a lifeline of friendship to the oldest and loneliest people, but this lifeline in Retford is currently under threat due to a real shortage of volunteer hosts in the area.”

“Our volunteers genuinely get as much out of the experience as our older guests, so I’m calling for anyone who is interested in giving something back to their community to please get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

Retford residents interested in becoming a volunteer host for Contact the Elderly once or twice a year can contact Pamela Walker, Midlands development officer on 0121 603 1331 or email