Over forty years ago, Mark’s constituent and local Marylebone resident, Trevor Lyttleton, set up Contact the Elderly after noticing that many of his older neighbours very rarely received visitors, leading to isolation and loneliness.
Contact the Elderly now co-ordinates small groups of volunteers who use their cars to take elderly, house-bound people on regular visits to hosts’ homes one Sunday a month. The afternoon tea provides a wonderful social event for older people and in July, Mark’s researcher, Julia, helped set up Contact the Elderly’s 100th group in London, Tower Hamlets IV.
Volunteering for the charity, and joining its network of almost 7,000 volunteers, is a great way to change the lives of local older people living in Westminster. You can volunteer to be a driver, with a commitment of one Sunday afternoon a month, picking up one or two older guests and accompanying them to tea parties, or you can be a volunteer host, welcoming a small group into your home once or twice a year.
The charity is looking for more volunteers in Westminster and they are hoping to launch a new group in Pimlico later this year, with the help of local hosts and drivers.
Meanwhile, if you know any older people that would benefit from tea, chat and laughter, then please visit Contact’s website for more information or alternatively you can call Contact the Elderly on freephone 0800 716 543