Reported by Third Force News – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

Working together to combat the crippling misery of loneliness is the focus of a conference being held next week.

Organised by Contact the Elderly, which tackles social isolation among older people, the free event on Monday (August 26) will showcase the expansion of its work being planned for the Forth Valley.

The charity already has several groups in the area, including in Stirling, Dunblane and Falkirk, which meet monthly to enjoy a couple of hours out over an informal Sunday afternoon tea.

Guests, who are usually over 75 and live alone, gather at a volunteer host’s home and are chauffeured there by a fleet of volunteer drivers.

Across Scotland, more than 1000 guests regularly benefit from the tea parties which are a vital lifeline of friendship for many.

Monday’s event, A Connected Forth Valley Information Day, will hear from Contact the Elderly guests and some of the volunteers who make the tea parties happen. Delegates will also learn how to refer both volunteers and older people to the charity and have the opportunity to talk to staff who work in their area.

Contact the Elderly, head of service in Scotland, Morna O’May said: “In line with the Scottish Government’s social isolation and loneliness strategy A Connected Scotland we are planning ‘A Connected Forth Valley’.





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