Did You Know

Charities keeping loneliness at bay in Kippen

Two local charities, whose aim is to assist older people, have joined forces to highlight the services they provide, in the hope that more people will get in touch this spring.

Contact the Elderly and Meal Makers, (the latest initiative from the charity Food Train) both look to improve the lives of older people, many of whom may be living lonely, unsociable lives.

Contact the Elderly organises tea parties one Sunday afternoon a month and is looking for more guests and guest referrals in Kippen for its free service providing tea, cake, but most importantly, company. A volunteer driver collects one or two guests and joins them at the party before returning them safely home. A volunteer host welcomes a group of six to eight people into their home once a year, laying on afternoon tea and a warm atmosphere.

Meal Makers is a project that connects communities through food. The idea behind Meal Makers is really simple – they connect people who love cooking and want to be active in their community (‘Cooks’), with older (55+) neighbours (‘Diners’), who would appreciate a freshly prepared meal and a good chat to go along with it.

So how does this work in practice? Well, when a Meal Makers cook is preparing their evening meal for themselves and their family, they will prepare one extra portion of their home cooking and take it round to an older neighbour at a time which suits both parties. How often meals are shared, and when they are shared, is left entirely up to the Cook and Diner to decide between themselves.

Lorna Dunbar, Support Officer for Contact the Elderly, said:

“To any potential guests, as we refer to them, it may understandably seem a little daunting getting in touch and meeting new people but I can guarantee you won’t regret it if you do. Both our volunteers and guests get so much out of our Sunday afternoons.”

Stuart Miller, Development Officer for Meal Makers, said:

“We’re delighted to be taking Meal Makers to Kippen. So many lovely meals have been shared through Meal Makers and so many great friendships have been made, we’re really looking forward to seeing this happen in Kippen.”

To find out more about volunteering or becoming a guest of Contact the Elderly, contact Lorna Dunbar on 07391 563813 or lorna.dunbar@contact-the-elderly.org.uk.

To sign up as a Meal Makers ‘Cook’ please visit http://www.mealmakers.org.uk. To sign up as a ‘Diner’, or to find out more about more about the project, please contact the Meal Makers team on 0800 783 7770 or hello@mealmakers.org.uk.

Contact the Elderly:

For further media information, please contact Vanessa Anderson on 07944 550087 or Vanessa@hummingbird-comms.com.

Contact the Elderly is the winner of The Older People’s Project Award at The Herald Society Awards 2016 and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012.

Having celebrated its Golden Jubilee, Contact the Elderly is the only national charity, which since inception, has focussed solely on relieving the acute loneliness and isolation of older people who live alone, without family, friends or other support networks nearby

The Contact the Elderly model is based on a simple yet very effective model: free, monthly tea parties for small groups of older people and volunteers within their community – which bring all ages together, develop fulfilling friendships and support networks, and give everyone something to look forward to

Contact the Elderly currently has over 600 groups throughout England, Scotland and Wales, providing a regular, consistent and vital friendship link every month to over 4,800 older people aged 75 and above

There are currently over 7,800 volunteers supporting the groups: volunteer drivers collect the older guests from their homes and accompany them to tea parties, while volunteer hosts hold the tea parties in their homes

As part of its continuing Power of Contact campaign to recruit more volunteers, Contact the Elderly aims by 2020 to double the number of isolated older people it supports