AN URGENT appeal has been launched for volunteers in Worcestershire to help bring an end to social isolation among older people.
The charity Re-engage says, following the pandemic, there is a major shortage of people to put on weekly tea parties.
The charity currently has 60 volunteers who regularly provide a location for tea, sandwiches and cake across the county for those aged 75 and over.
Guests are driven to and from the tea party but people are needed to take up those tasks.
Meryl Davies, CEO of Re-engage said: “Before the pandemic our monthly tea parties provided a vital lifeline for older people who barely saw another person from one week to the next.
“Two years of lockdowns and uncertainty have left many of them lacking the confidence to get back into the outside world.
“We want them to start socialising again so they do not feel they have been left behind.
“But to do that we need local community leaders prepared to devote a few hours which can change so many lives.”
She added the tea parties provided the perfect remedy for the socially isolated, especially after the pandemic, and loneliness led to serious health issues to the over 75s.
“We want to provide a service that will bring some happiness to their lives – without co-ordinators we can’t do that.”
Mary, who is partially blind and was recently widowed after being married for 60 years, said: “I have no friends and I haven’t got a big family.
“I can’t go out much, so I really look forward to the Sunday outings.
“I can’t tell you how much I enjoy them.
“I don’t know what I would do without the tea parties.
“If I don’t have them, I have nothing.”
And Pat, 90, said: “The people who make these tea parties happen are very special.
“Without them they simply wouldn’t exist.
“Most of them have children and jobs but still give up their time one Sunday a month, which is just wonderful – so public-spirited.”
People willing to become a co-ordinator can call 0207 240 0630 or visit reengage.org.uk to find out more.