I’ve got a poster in dining room, in bold red letters, that states “Tea Revives You” and I do believe that this is true (to a certain extent anyway!).
The other weekend I was invited along to an afternoon tea party with a local charity Contact the Elderly group; the coffee, cake and chat certainly had a positive effect on all of those that participated that day.
Contact the Elderly, which supports people living alone aged 75 years and over, currently have 50 people in the Glasgow area hoping to join their monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties. To enable these people to attend parties, the charity needs to set up 10 new groups in the city, which requires around 70 volunteer hosts, 35 volunteer drivers and a pool of reserve drivers, as well as a volunteer from each group to the the co-ordinator.
I visited volunteer host Kathryn’s house for the party, where she had prepared a range of savoury and sweet treats for the guests (my favourites were the chicken satay and the apple cake with maple icing). Kathryn explained to me that as a volunteer host, the group will attend her house twice each year; a commitment that Kathryn is able to fulfil easily. The properties are checked in advance, taking into account the number of stairs, access to bathroom facilities etc. Kathryn has a few stairs, so if you are considering volunteering don’t rule yourself out straight away if you think there might be access issues. The guests, with help, managed to get up these ones and the cake was definitely worth it!
The volunteer drivers, of which there were 4 at this party to transport the 5 guests, make a commitment of attending all the parties, one each month with the group.
The elderly guests benefit from the company and chat during the parties, and as it’s the same people at each party they soon become friends. I know from experience with my gran, that once you get to a certain age, life can be lonely. My gran is now 93 years old and sadly a lot of her friends have passed away.
However, it’s not just the older guests that benefit from the parties. One of the drivers volunteered with the charity to make friends herself after having recently moved to Glasgow.
Kathryn and her husband had put together a quiz for the guests which was good fun (although I was terrible at it!!). It’s up to the host if they provide any entertainment. Kathryn’s little children were certainly entertaining too and very cute! Her son made up his own Star Wars quiz for us which had us all chuckling!
After helping clear up a little and assisting the guests back to the cars, I drove away myself feeling warm & fuzzy. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon and for charity too 🙂
If you fancy becoming a volunteer (perhaps my friends at Glasgow Baking Club might be interesting in hosting?!) then you can find out more details here.