Elderly invited for cup of tea at mayor's parlour

This Is Lancashire: Front, from left, Lilian Bentley, Mayor of Bury Cllr Sharon Briggs and Nora Riley, with other members and helpers, and mayoress Shirley Rabbitt, right Front, from left, Lilian Bentley, Mayor of Bury Cllr Sharon Briggs and Nora Riley, with other members and helpers, and mayoress Shirley Rabbitt, right

ELDERLY people who have felt the benefits of tea parties held to combat loneliness were treated to a celebratory trip to the Mayor of Bury’s parlour.

National charity, Contact the Elderly, seeks to alleviate loneliness and isolation among older people by organising monthly get-togethers.

Volunteer drivers pick up the elderly person from home and take them to a volunteer host’s home for the afternoon for tea, cake, chatter, laughter and friendship.

There are currently three groups in Bury and the Mayor, Cllr Sharon Briggs, treated a group of pensioners to tea in support of the charity.

Susan Whitehead, Co-ordinator for Contact the Elderly, said: “All the older people who came along agreed it was a lovely afternoon and thanked the Mayor and Mayoress for the invitation.

“I can't tell you how much the older people appreciate being part of a family for a short time and how much they look forward to each tea party. We are aware that there are lots more lonely, older people in Bury and are always encouraging more people to come forward and more volunteer drivers and hosts to help out.”

Attendee Lillian Bentley, from Bury, said: “Being a guest of Contact the Elderly and getting out and making new friends has made a vast difference to my life.

“I now have something to really look forward to each month and the volunteers are so kind and work hard to make sure we all enjoy ourselves.”

Ben Thorne, from Ramsbottom, added: “When you are at home all day by yourself it is marvellous to get out of the house, go to different places and talk to people.”

Contact the Elderly is looking for pensioners living in the Moorgate and Redvales areas to attend a new group held at St John’s Church in Birtle.

Anyone who is interested in taking part can call North West Development Officer Gwen Lightfoot on 01925 728969 or email gwen.lightfoot@contact-the-elderly.org.uk

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