17 Jul Volunteering with ‘Contact The Elderly’
We are very proud here at Fusion to work with some of the loveliest individuals in the UK who are constantly helping us to look out for the welfare of children all around the country. The work our team provides means a great deal to many people and, although this is the case, some of them strive to broaden the cheer far beyond their day jobs. This is something we love to celebrate!
You may remember a short while back when Bisto (aah yes, the gravy brand!) started an ad campaign with Contact the Elderly called Spare Chair Sunday, to spread awareness of loneliness among elderly people. Well, one of our Supervising Social Workers, Roberta, saw it too. It inspired her to get involved in her local area of Wolverhampton with one of the most heart-warming causes there could possibly be.
One Sunday of each month, dedicated volunteers of Contact the Elderly bring together individuals who might not have many visiting relatives or friends. With the help of driving volunteers like Roberta they are able to visit other local elderly people at an assigned host’s house for three to five hours of tea, cake, and friendly chat.
“I saw the ad on TV for Spare Chair Sundays, but not having my own place at the time made it impossible for me to get involved. I visited the website to see if there were any other ways of helping and it led me to the Tea Parties with Friends page.”
An allocated person will host the party for, in Roberta’s case, around six or seven people. The drivers stay until the party is over, when they take each guest back home again.
“This was the ideal situation for me. While I didn’t have a suitable venue at the time I did have a car, allowing me to help out whilst not having to commit masses of time around my new job at Fusion. It can put people off volunteering if it requires too much time, but one Sunday afternoon a month is something many people can manage. It is very rewarding.”
For some of the elderly people that attend the Tea Parties, it might be the only day in the month that they will leave the house. It is an inclusive get-together of anybody over the age of 75 that would like to escape the loneliness and make new friends. Roberta has been involved for over a year now and hasn’t looked back since.
“Time flies! It is a great cause and makes so much difference to the guests. It’s a relief to think that if my own grandparents were in a similar situation they would have a place to go to make friends and get out for a while.”
She tells us that the main enjoyment she gets from the Tea Parties is seeing what a wonderful time the elderly people have and how they will chat about it all of the way home.
“I love hearing about them reminiscing about past times in their lives and they want to know about my life also. It benefits their mental health to get out and about as it can be very isolating and lonely living alone with limited mobility. I am just glad I can make a difference with a few hours of my own time.”
The group also celebrate festivities together, having a special dinner party at Christmas time and gifts and a birthday cake on their birthday. We asked Roberta to see what some of the guests thought of the parties:
“I only really see my step-daughter, so going to these events is a real treat for me. It makes a huge difference to how I usually spend my Sundays.” Neville
“The food is always lovely! Going to the parties makes such a difference and really gives me something to look forward to.” Mary
For anybody who might be interested in this campaign, please visit the Contact the Elderly website. It is very informative and has many accounts of the elderly people the parties have helped all over the country. Here at Fusion we are all about inclusion and combatting loneliness, so we couldn’t be prouder of our dedicated team member – Well done Roberta!
To see what we’ve been up to across the UK in our efforts to spread the awareness of fostering, or if you are interested in becoming a foster carer and are in search of more information, please contact us.