Friendships formed across generations
LAUGHTER and friendship were on the menu as members of a Ramsbottom church dished up an afternoon tea party for the elderly.
Plans to start hosting get-togethers for pensioners in the community had to be re-arranged when a lightning strike made St Andrew’s Church unusable.
But on Sunday, thanks to the loan of St Philip’s church hall at Stubbins, 11 elderly people sat down to a slap-up tea and chat with volunteers and got to know each other.
The guests at the ‘Friendship on a Sunday’ afternoon ranged in age from mid 80s to late 90s and most did not know each other before they were collected from their homes by volunteer drivers.
“It’s been really grand,” said 84-year-old Brenda Stow.
“To be quite honest, if I hadn’t have come here I would have probably have just put on the television for the sound and a bit of company.
“This really is the church coming to the people, not just the people coming to the church.”
The tea parties, which will be run monthly, have been set up with the assistance of the Contact the Elderly charity, which aims to combat the isolation and loneliness which can be experienced by pensioners.
“This sort of tea party means everything to some elderly people,” said the charity’s North West development officer Gwen Lightfoot. For some people they won’t see a person from one month to the next.”
St Andrew’s curate, Steve Openshaw said he was delighted with the success of the afternoon.
“There was a real buzz and lots of smiling faces,” he said.
The next tea party will be held on October 20 and anyone who knows an elderly person from the local area who might like to go can contact Gwen Lightfoot on 01925 728969 or Steve Openshaw on 01706 823444.
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