Contact the Elderly (www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk) is an organisation that does just that. I joined last year, thinking it might be an outlet I might find beneficial.
Not long after submitting my application I was visited by two people, the organiser for my area and a driver. No, not the organiser’s personal chauffeur, it was a lady who would become my dedicated driver on the third Sunday of every month when all the members were taken to someone’s house and served with afternoon tea.
It sounded a bit formal but once I got into the swing of things I realised how much these people are doing for us oldies.
The organiser certainly knows how to organise. Everything seems to run so smoothly, I guess she’s a whiz at sorting problems. We go to a different house every time, the volunteers taking it in turns to feed us. Oooh, you should see some of the food they serve. Dainty (crusts removed) sandwiches with various fillings. After that comes the sausage rolls or pies, celery sticks and tomatoes, and other items too numerous to mention. And then little cakes and big cake appear … with creamy or chocolate fillings and toppings to die for. And while all this is going on the male members of the team keep us amused with stories of their families etc.
We have been on outings; last year I was invited to a Christmas party organised by another charity organisation. Can’t wait to see if more invitations come this year.
With us all being oldies it follows that we lose one or two members, which is sad, but there always seems to be new people joining.
A recent visit was to the home of a young couple where tea was served in a conservatory with a wonderful view of their garden. Somehow it didn’t matter that it was pouring with rain outside. The display of food was mouth-watering and the cake was divine … given the chance I would have eaten all of it.
I sat next to the man of the house and had a very pleasant chat with him. We had things in common, the internet being one of them, and of course I told him about this blog. Quick as a flash he had his phone out and had opened the blog. He said he might look in again and read some of my posts and stories. If he is reading this I hope he won’t mind this mention of my visit to his lovely home.
I am on my second personal driver now, not sure what happened to the first, but I’m pleased to be driven around by my new one. On occasions she sends texts to check on me and has even invited me to have lunch with her one day.
All in all, the experience is fulfilling. I sometimes wish we could meet more often but then I realise that to do so could kill the enthusiasm of both volunteer and guest. As it is we have something to look forward to and that is worth a ton of gold.