Norfolk appeal for tea party volunteers

A charity which arranges tea parties for isolated and lonely pensioners is urgently appealing for volunteers in Norfolk.

Contact the Elderly holds monthly Sunday afternoon social events around the country, which are a lifeline for many people over 75.

Volunteers take members to and from the events for tea, cake and companionship, and take turns holding them at their homes.

Although the charity is thriving in many areas of the country, there is only one event held in the whole of Norfolk.

Linda Braeburn, who manages events in the East of England, said: 'If we get more volunteers we can perhaps think about starting some new groups.

'We have other places where people are waiting for a group, but we haven't got enough volunteers.

'They're needed because the elderly who are isolated love having something to look forward to. When they have nothing in their calendars apart from a hospital appointment, it keeps them going.

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'Just having this little tea party to look forward to makes such a difference. We need more human contact in our lives,' she added.

Sally Alden volunteers for the charity and opens her home near Spixworth for a tea party once every five months.

She said: 'Completely randomly I happened to be watching the news and Jonathan Ross said he hosted one of them.

'I just saw that and thought 'I'm going to ring up'. I was shocked by how they hadn't had any interaction with people.

'One lady said she hadn't seen anyone for three weeks and that was her postman.

'The impact for those people was huge. You really feel that you've done something worthwhile.'

Anyone interested in volunteering or setting up a tea party should call Linda Braeburn on 01279 417264 or email

Do you need volunteers for your charity? Call reporter Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email