Can you offer a cuppa and some time to cheer up lonely pensioners?

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A SHORTAGE of volunteers means many elderly residents of Kelso face losing out on the chance of alleviating their loneliness.

Contact the Elderly, the charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and isolation among older people, is urgently appealing for volunteers living in Kelso to spare just a few hours each month to help with the running of local tea parties for the elderly.

The charity aims relieve the acute loneliness of isolated elderly people, aged 75 and above, who live alone, by organising free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people within local communities and so provide a regular and vital friendship link every month.

Each older guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver, and is taken to a volunteer host’s home, where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship.

The charity is hoping to set up a new group in Kelso. However, it is currently struggling to recruit volunteer drivers who are able to pick up the older guests from their homes and accompany them to the gathering each month, volunteer hosts to welcome the group into their homes for tea twice a year, and a volunteer coordinator to help organise the monthly tea parties.

Contact the Elderly’s East Scotland Development Officer, Morna O’May, said: “The charity is committed to offering a lifeline of friendship to the oldest and loneliest people, but our hopes of extending this lifeline to even more elderly people in Kelso are currently fading due to a real shortage of volunteers in the area.

“Anyone who can spare a couple of hours one Sunday a month, has a driving licence, a car, and a capacity for drinking tea is eligible! And for those interested in becoming a host, it would just involve a couple of hours twice a year.

“It’s not a big commitment and 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 me as soon as possible.”

Kelso residents interested in volunteering for Contact the Elderly once a month as a driver, or twice a year as a host, can contact Morna O’May, East Scotland Development Officer on 01786 871264 or email: morna.omay@contact-the-elderly.org.uk