Long-serving group celebrate 50 years

Alison Smith was invited to cut the birthday cake with Thelma Dillon, who has been a member for 20 years, and John Green, who has been a volunteer driver for over 20 years. 'PHOTO: Supplied
Alison Smith was invited to cut the birthday cake with Thelma Dillon, who has been a member for 20 years, and John Green, who has been a volunteer driver for over 20 years. 'PHOTO: Supplied

The national charity Contact the Elderly celebrated its 50th birthday in April.

It is the only charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation in older age. Once a month, volunteer drivers collect over 75-year-olds from their homes and take them for afternoon tea.

There are 7,400 volunteers throughout the UK and the aim is to double this number within five years.

The Melton Mowbray Group is one of the largest in the UK and normally invites 30 pensioners for tea at a variety of venues in the borough. It has 20 volunteer drivers from whom 12 or 13 collect the members from their homes and take them to the afternoon tea each month.

Last month 23 members and 12 volunteer drivers from the Melton Mowbray Group were the guests of Alison and David Smith at the Village Hall in Great Dalby.

Alison, her family and friends provided a delicious tea which included home-made cakes, while David organised the entertainment - the quizzes tested everyone’s memory. It was a joyous celebration with lots of fun and laughter.

Alison herself had celebrated a special birthday this week, so she was invited to cut the birthday cake with Thelma Dillon, who has been a member for 20 years, and John Green, who has been a volunteer driver for over 20 years. The cake, which was decorated with a teapot and the logos of the organization, was made by Eileen Cooper, one of the volunteer drivers.

For more information about the national charity Contact the Elderly visit http://www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk/ or call 020 7240 0630 or email info@contact -the-elderly.org.uk