Volunteers come forward 
for Contact the Elderly

Kirriemuir host Rhona Guild with young volunteer Sophie and guests
Kirriemuir host Rhona Guild with young volunteer Sophie and guests

Last week’s BBC programme which focused on loneliness highlighted the valuable work provided by Contact the Elderly.

The charity has seen the number of volunteers soar as the public becomes aware of what a huge problem loneliness is and the harm to physical and mental health it causes.

Contact the Elderly exists to help alleviate loneliness in the elderly and completed it’s Golden Jubilee year on a high.

The four Angus Groups all got together to celebrate Christmas at tea parties to round off a very happy and successful year.

Because Santa was up to his whiskers in preparations, he asked young volunteers Conrad from Edinburgh and Sophie from Kirriemuir to help give out the Christmas presents.

Unfortunately Conrad couldn’t get to Forfar because of the closure of the Forth Road Bridge but Sophie went along dressed for the occasion and was a great hit with the Kirriemuir guests.

On one Sunday afternoon a month, drivers collect a couple of lonely over 75s and drive them to that month’s host for a couple of hours of chat and afternoon tea.

Drivers are invariably greeted with the words, ‘you’ve no idea what a difference this makes to me’ or ‘ I look forward to this all month’.

Jean Malcolm, volunteer and Angus Area Organiser for the Charity said: “It is a very simple idea which makes a great deal of difference.

“If you would like to volunteer, or know of a lonely elderly person we could help, please get in touch.

“Drivers need a clean licence and a PVG which I do, there is no charge, and can either drive regularly on one Sunday a month or occasionally to cover for holidays. Hosts are asked to host a simple afternoon tea on one Sunday afternoon a year and some spare hosts are always very welcome in case of unforseen circumstances.

“Guests should live alone, have little social contact and be able to manage two or three stairs and get in and out of a car with minimal help.

“We do not do wheelchairs or dementia. There is no charge as volunteers give the use of their car and hosts provide the tea.

“You may have seen the Bisto advert which linked with Contact the Elderly to promote the idea of a spare chair at lunch. The charity has been overwhelmed by offers throughout the country, and I’m happy to say we have several volunteers in Angus, willing to invite a lonely, elderly person to Sunday lunch once or twice a year.”

Contact Jean on 01356 660238 or visit the website www.contact­the­elderly.org.uk