Re-engage, formerly Contact the Elderly, whose sole aim is to alleviate loneliness in older people, was able recently to to host afternoon teas for the Angus and Mearns Groups at Brechin Castle Centre.
The group was forced to stop its free monthly tea parties at the start of the pandemic last year, but organisers felt that a get-together was desperately needed to cheer up their guests.
Guests and drivers from Brechin, Montrose, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Carnoustie and across the Mearns enjoyed a superb afternoon and had a great time catching up with each other after after being apart for so long.
Jean Malcolm, area organiser, said that when Covid forced the cancellation of the charity’s activities, volunteers were asked to call guests for regular chats, but took the request a step, or more, further.
She said: “Doorstep deliveries were made of gifts, shopping, prescriptions, home baking, Christmas dinners and soup depending on what individual groups could manage. Group co-ordinators kept in touch with guests and volunteers and made sure things ran smoothly.
“As we look forward to restarting our teas when Covid allows, we will be looking for more volunteer hosts and drivers as well as some more guests.”
Drivers can drive on one Sunday per month or be reserves, and hosts are asked to host once a year in their homes. Guests are usually over 75, live alone and have little social contact.
Jean added: “I suspect hosts will want to have smaller numbers in their homes post Covid which is why we need more hosts and with a few extra drivers it allows for holidays or just a day off. Our monthly teas last from 2pm – 4pm and there are no caring duties.”
Applications to volunteer or join as a guest are now on-line, but all details can be found on the Re-engage website.
For anyone unable to apply online, Jean can be contacted on 01356 660238 for assistance.
There are other volunteering opportunities with Re engage listed on the website, for instance Call Companions which is a telephone befriending service which might suit volunteers who do not wish to drive or host.
Jean added: “I am hoping at this time of goodwill to all, that I will be inundated with volunteers who like chatting, laughing and eating cake.”