This Christmas, pledge 180 minutes of your time to help isolated older people
1 Million Minutes is ITV Good Morning Britain's award-winning campaign to help raise awareness of loneliness in the UK. We are proud to be one of their charity partners.
This year, you can pledge your time to help older people in your local community. Over 1.2 million over-75s suffer from chronic loneliness and social isolation each year.
As we age, our social circles diminish through bereavement, ill-health or lack of opportunity. Your pledge can help give older people a chance to rebuild their support networks and form new friendships.
I like to go to the park for fresh air. But even though there are lots of people around me, no one speaks to you. You just sit on a bench, alone.
Often older people have little chance to socialise because they have nowhere to go. Tea parties held in homes are a great opportunity for guests to meet new people in safe surroundings.
As a host, you are invited to hold a tea party for older people in your area, providing guests and volunteers with refreshments and conversation. Group sizes can vary from between 6-12 people and you would only have to commit to one or two Sundays a year.
We operate our tea party groups on Sundays, as many older people find it to be the loneliest day of the week. Many of our older guests suffer from ill-health or have access to a vehicle and, with the reduced transport services on the weekend, can find it impossible to leave the house.
As a volunteer driver, you will be collecting older guests from their homes, transporting them to tea parties and taking them home again once the party is over. Our drivers are crucial to the running of parties and help restore a sense of independence to guests who can feel otherwise trapped in their homes.
As well as driving, you will also be a guest at the tea party and can enjoy cake and conversation with new people in your community.
Group coordinators range from people in their 20s to people in their 80s. Some work, some don’t, and they have a wonderful and diverse range of backgrounds and skills. What they all have is the determination to make sure that the older people in their community can get together in social groups.
Our team does all the recruitment of older guests and volunteers but it is the group coordinators who plan the monthly meet-ups and ensure that they run smoothly with every older guest picked up and taken home and a host lined up for every month.
All group coordinators are allocated to one of our nation-wide team of support officers who are there to give support and advice.
Double your donation at no extra cost
From 3rd – 10th December our generous partners will match all donations as part of The Big Give Christmas Challenge
Give something back this Christmas by raising money through one of our 3 Christmas fundraising challenges.
Host an event this Christmas to help us tackle loneliness at this special time of the year
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