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Project information

Ending the isolation of elderly people

Contact the Elderly is a national charity which aims to alleviate acute loneliness amongst isolated older people aged 75 and over . Since we were established we have supported over 100,00 older guests & we want to continue to meet this ever increasing need by increasing the number of groups

Once established our groups continue to run for an average of 10 years.

Charity information: Contact the Elderly

Contact the Elderly logo
  • Need


    “Edith is 93 and lives alone. She wants to remain in her own home but pays a high price for independence. For days on end, Edith’s only contact is with her care workers. They’re nice, but rarely have time to talk. So Edith sits and remembers, reverting to memories to cope with her lonely existence.”
    In our ageing population the problem of isolation among elderly people is growing; it is forecasted that over 2 million will be isolated by 2021. Imagine 2 million Ediths.


    Each month, the same group of older guests are taken by their volunteer drivers for afternoon tea in a volunteer host's home. Over time friendships are made and relationships formed. Our elderly guests grow in confidence and 86% have told us that they feel happier as a result.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Relieving the acute loneliness and isolation of frail elderly people.


    » Regular group outings will give them something to look forward to and the opportunity to make friends.
    » Work with local communities to develop new groups in areas of need.

    What success will look like

    Success will be the development of further groups , so that we can bring the joy of friendship back into the lives of more older people

  • Impact


    Once established our groups run for an average of 10 years, meaning that long-term relationships are formed and many more people are able to benefit from the group.
    Our experience of providing this service to over 100,000 people has proved that our innovative yet simple model is an effective and appropriate way of relieving isolation and loneliness for some of the most vulnerable older people living in our communities. Our service is recognised and used by many statutory providers .


    There is a risk that we will not be able to find the older people most in need of our service. However we will work closely with other organisations who work with older people , local GP's and other health providers , so they are aware of our work across the country. We will promote this through our Be Our Guest leaflets and media coverage.


    We will send a report and update on our progress including the number of older guests and volunteers who have joined Contact the Elderly .Copies of press and other media coverage will also be sent

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £50,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £33,000 Development Officer Salary Development Officers spend approx. 4 hours a week for a year working to launch a new group
      £9,000 Recruitment Volunteer and member recruitment costs, including distribution of leaflets and posters
      £3,750 Training and Expenses Volunteers are trained to support our members. Also emergency costs
      £4,250 Management and Administration Pro rata contribution to management and administration costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Dulverton Trust £25,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We have groups across the UK and set up new groups according to local need and capacity.


    Our groups benefit our older guests and also our volunteers who gain confidence, and skills, and make new friends. We provide a Happy Monday feeling for all attendees after they have been to a Sunday Tea Party

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been running our groups since 1965, and currently support over 600 groups across the UK.
    Our regional staff are able to provide support to local groups and identify areas where we can launch new groups.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Regional Development Officer

    Their role is essential in developing the new group, as they are responsible for managing the entire process from recruitment through to launch.

Older guests say what Contact the Elderly means to them

The time I feel most lonely is after six o'clock at night but when I have been out to a Contact the Elderly tea then I don't feel lonely at all, just fresh memories of a lovely afternoon out with friends. It is good getting out and meeting people. It has made such a difference to my life.

Harold, 89, Ilkley group