Hosting my first Contact the Elderly tea party

Written by

Tags: Client Contact the Elderly PR tea party volunteering

On Sunday, between team Stand we hosted TWO Contact the Elderly tea parties. I (together with my boyfriend and his Nan) hosted one in Essex  and Nyree hosted the group she set up in Peterborough –  both were afternoons filled with tea, cake and most-importantly – laughter. For me it was my first ever time hosting (Nyree is a seasoned regular!), so it was so great to experience the magic of one of Contact’s parties first hand.

Contact the Elderly is a national charity that works to combat loneliness and isolation of older people aged 75 and over who live alone. The tea party groups meet once a month, giving older guests a regular social activity to look forward to.

Having worked with Contact the Elderly in a PR capacity with Stand for a number of years, I have heard many stories of how Contact’s parties have changed the lives of those that attend. Just yesterday, one guest told me that before the tea parties she used to wish she could go out with a sign around her neck that said “please somebody just talk to me”, as she told me how she started to feel lonely as her friends started to pass away with old age.

I was super close to my Nana before she passed away in 2011, and so when I started working with Contact and hearing more and more stories such as this – coming from people just like my Nana – I knew I had to do my bit.

How the tea parties work:

Once a month, normally on a Sunday afternoon, each older guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver, and taken to a volunteer host’s home, where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship. The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the charity’s drivers and older guests remain the same. This means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship.

How to volunteer:

If you feel like you would like to get involved and volunteer your time to Contact the Elderly – there are three main ways, you can help. There are hundreds of volunteer run tea party groups up and down the UK, each of them is run by members of the local community. You can check to see if there is on in your area here.

Become a host – a commitment of one or two Sunday afternoons a year

Hosts provide a warm welcome and a simple afternoon tea lasting between two and three hours for six to eight older guests and three or four drivers. Often hosts involve family and friends and two or three generations join in. The only requirements are that your home has step-free access and a downstairs loo.

Become a driver – a monthly commitment

Drivers collect the same older guest/s each month and take them to a different local host’s home where they all enjoy an afternoon tea party. There are usually three to five drivers in a group and there are sometimes also one or two reserve drivers to cover for holidays and emergencies.

Coordinate a group – monthly commitment

Coordinators ensure everything runs smoothly each month. Coordinators are also often volunteer drivers too. Coordinators organise the monthly group outings by liaising with the hosts and the drivers so that everyone is clear about the time, date and place. After the drivers have been called by the coordinator, they in turn contact their older guest/s.

Refer a guest

If you know someone that you feel would benefit from attending one of Contact the Elderly’s tea parties, please do spread the word. Contact has some great fliers on its website you can print off here:

Beccy’s tea party in action

Why every organisation should be thinking about the circular economy  

Imagine a world where every product is repaired, recycled or refurbished at the end...

More information

Revving Up for a Sustainable Future: Why We Must Challenge Rishi Sunak’s Backtrack on Net Zero

As Climate Week in New York concludes, we find ourselves at a critical juncture...

More information

Apple’s Sustainability Video: A Storytelling Triumph with Gaps in Green Commitment

Apple’s latest sustainability video, featuring CEO Tim Cook and actress Octavia Spencer, has sparked...

More information

Taking A Stand with Nazim Valimahomed, Founder and Chief Product and Design Officer at Kroo.

Each month we’re sitting down with the trailblazers who are making a difference at...

More information

Celebrating success: Stand celebrates double victory, winning two PR awards

We’re delighted to share that our PR efforts secured us not one but two...

More information

We can’t afford to ignore migraine in the workplace

Do you work with someone who experiences migraine? Chances are, you do – you...

More information

Taking A Stand with James Rutter, Chief Creative Officer at COOK.

Each month we’re sitting down with the trailblazers who are making a difference at...

More information

The future of payment – the revolution of mobility technology

Phasing out petrol and diesel cars and introducing EVs is a great option in...

More information

Claire Brady on Net Zero Hero Podcast

Some people think that ‘circularity’ simply means recycling, but it is so much more...

More information

Earth Day

Earth Day provides an opportunity to take stock of our progress towards addressing the...

More information

When it comes to making sustainability claims, getting it wrong can cost organisations the earth

According to Robin Hicks, “2022 was the year that policymakers started to take greenwashing...

More information

Less is more: How low alcohol brands are targeting their Gen Z consumers

Dry January may be over, but giving up alcohol definitely hasn’t gone out of...

More information

Beyond B Corp: Breaking up with Barclays 

Last year we became a certified B Corp, and to do so we had...

More information

Three takeaways from the IPCC’s ‘final warning’ report 

This week has seen the release of the latest IPCC report assessing the climate...

More information

Why we’ve introduced a 4.5 day working week

As the rulebook of the working week gets rewritten, at Stand we continue to...

More information

Stand shifts as we move into our second decade

I founded Stand with one simple (but typically ambitious) belief: that good comms can...

More information

So… has the pandemic set us back or propelled us forward?

Last week, just days after the restrictions in England were lifted, we hosted our...

More information

Wellbeing is not a one-size-fits-all approach

It’s safe to say that being plunged into multiple lockdowns across the past 18...

More information

Covid-19 has given us a harsh lesson in education inequality

Although ‘Freedom Day’ is here, Covid’s effects will, as we hear all too often,...

More information

The pandemic of inequalities

Last week, the Health Foundation’s Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery report made headlines, revealing that...

More information

Has the pandemic set us back 50 years, or will it propel us forward?

At its onset, Covid-19 was described as the great leveller. But the pandemic has...

More information