Charity calls on Ely residents to combat loneliness amongst the elderly after identifying city as 'loneliness hotspot'

PUBLISHED: 15:54 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:54 13 October 2016

Contact the Elderly has launching monthly tea parties to help fight loneliness and isolation within the elderly in Ely.

Contact the Elderly has launching monthly tea parties to help fight loneliness and isolation within the elderly in Ely.

Archant

Ely is one of the country's 25 loneliness hotspots, a study by an older persons charity has revealed.

Contact the Elderly is campaigning for the city to start taking action when they identify a lonely person after discovering that nine out of 10 people in the area feel concerned over a lonely elderly person in the community.

The charity has launched its ‘Be Our Guest’ campaign, and is asking Ely residents to link up their older neighbours with social opportunities, either by giving them an invitation to tea parties held by the charity or by directly referring potential guests.

Mary Rance, Contact the Elderly CEO, said: “Loneliness amongst older people is a problem that can easily be solved by a community. By its nature, social isolation often means that the loneliest people are the hardest to reach. It’s not the case that they’re not there, it’s just that guests-to-be don’t know our service is available, and admitting you’re lonely is difficult.

“At Contact the Elderly we recognise that a grass roots approach is needed. We’ve had a fantastic stream of eager volunteers’ sign-up to support us, and with the help of the general public, we hope to identify those older people that need our service most to enable us to set up new tea parties across the country.

“We can’t be on every street, but we can encourage people to keep an eye out for their neighbour and help them know how to offer assistance in a discreet but significant way.”

Supported by volunteers across the UK, Contact the Elderly organise free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties throughout the year, ensuring isolated older people, living alone and aged 75 and over, have a regular social activity to look forward to.

As part of its ‘Be Our Guest’ campaign, it is hoping to reach out to isolated older people before the nights draw in for the winter months, to encourage them to try out a tea party.

To find out more about Contact the Elderly, call Freephone 0800 716 543, visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk or email guest@contact-the-elderly.org.uk.

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