Vigo hosts special Contact the Elderly tea party

PUBLISHED: 17:02 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 17:02 24 March 2014

The Contact the Elderly tea party

The Contact the Elderly tea party


Vigo played host to a special tea party for elderly people yesterday.

Hosted by Penney Smith, 57, and her 59-year-old husband Alan, the event in Timberbank was designed to bring people belonging to the Gravesham branch of Contact the Elderly closer together in the community.

The borough’s mayor, Cllr Derek Sales, and mayoress Cllr Pam Sales both attended.

The Gravesham group has been running for exactly a year after being launched by volunteer coordinator Francesca Elu and the event was organised to celebrate the organisation’s birthday.

Cllr Derek Sales said: “It is great to know that an idea like this exists.

“I especially like the fact that the tea parties take place in people’s homes.”

Contact the Elderly is the only national charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and isolation in older people.

Miss Elu added that the Gravesham branch is still looking for volunteers.

She said: “We are still actively seeking volunteer drivers, volunteer hosts and of course, elderly people to join the group.

“Volunteer drivers commit to driving one Sunday afternoon a month and volunteer hosts commit to opening up their homes once or twice a year to the local group.”

Joan Handley, 80, is a member of the Gravesham group and said: “What a wonderful bunch of volunteers and hosts. I am amazed at their kindness.”

Barbara Cox, 78, added: “I think it’s lovely. I’m absolutely over the moon to be able to come, I love it.”

Louise Stapley, 28, a volunteer driver for the Gravesham group, said: “It is a great volunteering opportunity to meet new friends of all backgrounds and ages.”

The charity, launched in 1965, has 580 groups nationwide and has impacted the lives of more than 100,000 elderly people.

If you are interested in volunteering or you want to refer an elderly person to the group, please contact regional development officer Katy Szita on 020 8530 0494 or email

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