With no family living close by, tea parties have been a lifeline for 92-year-old Hazel, who has been part of the Edgbaston 2 group for three and a half years.

“I have loved the tea parties right from the start. I was filled with amazement that anyone would do that; open their home to a group of strangers and be so inviting.

The drivers are so good too. My regular driver is a professor and a retired GP and I can’t believe that he gives up his free time to take us out. Everyone is so kind and so friendly. The tea parties have given me new ideas too. One host has a table where the centre revolves - I’d never seen that before!”

Hazel has lived alone in a retirement flat in South Birmingham since the death of her husband, Barry. She previously worked as a secretary in the Assistant Chief Constable’s office in Birmingham. She has always loved poetry and would often put pen to paper and write poems about things that moved her.

Hazel has two sons and grown-up grandchildren but does not see them very often, so relies on her tea party group for socialising and getting out of the house. Like so many, the lockdowns proved very difficult and she missed the social interaction. 

“I found the lockdowns so hard. I felt very alone and isolated but thankfully Cas, our tea party group coordinator became my call companion. I had to go into hospital a couple of times and when I came out, I had to self-isolate in my flat. Meals were brought to the door for me, but it felt like a very long two weeks. It was as if life came to a stop.

“Cas phoned every week and one time when I was feeling fed up she drove into the car park and I had a chat with her from my balcony. We were also sent ‘afternoon tea in a box’ when we were not able to meet in person. The host made tea and boxed it up and the drivers delivered it to our doorstep, so we had something to look forward to once a month.”

In August, the Edgbaston 2 tea parties started up again, much to Hazel’s delight.

“I’m a sociable person and I do miss the company; contact with others is so important. I was overjoyed that the tea parties could start again. It’s such a brilliant concept. I’d like to thank the person who came up with the idea all those years ago. Re-engage helps people mix and socialise. I am sure the connection Re-engage provides has prevented a lot of mental illness and depression during the pandemic.”

If you are interested in joining a tea party in your local area or having a call companion call 0800 716 543 (freephone) or apply online.   We also have an interactive map listing all tea party volunteering opportunities across the UK. 

Contact us

We have teams across the UK.


7 Bell Yard


0800 716543

Office phone:

020 7240 0630