Saturday, December 07, 2019
The skye times mobile

An appeal is issued for volunteers to help tackle social isolation among the elderly.

A charity working to alleviate loneliness among older people is appealing for volunteers to help set up its first group on Skye.

Re-engage, formerly known as Contact the Elderly, combats social isolation through regular Sunday afternoon tea parties and other activities.

The monthly events are usually held in a local host's home and guests are chauffeured to and from the gatherings by a fleet of volunteer drivers – a crucial service that solves any transport worries for those who have difficulty getting out and about.

There are already more than 140 groups in Scotland with more than 1000 guests whose lives are often transformed through this simple premise of some kindness and company over a cup of tea.

Denise Robson, the charity's development officer for the north, has been working hard to establish the latest group in Dunvegan, but needs more help from the local community.  She said: "Social isolation is one of society's biggest problems, especially among the older generation, but we see the huge difference social events like ours can make to someone who perhaps doesn't have the chance to interact with others as much as they would like.

"We believe everyone should have the opportunity of a social life, no matter how old they are. Making friendships and meaningful connections is vital to well-being and we'd love to hear from locals on Skye who can help us enrich the lives of the older generation in their community."

Volunteer hosts are expected to invite a small group of guests into their homes for afternoon tea two or three times a year. Drivers are asked to devote a Sunday afternoon once a month to the charity.

"It's really not an onerous amount of time and for anyone new to volunteering it's an ideal way to get involved," said Denise.

"Guests are usually over 75 and our volunteers are generally much younger so it's also a great way to bring the generations together and I'm confident the locals on Skye will step forward to help us out."

To find out more about becoming a volunteer or guest with Re-engage please contact Denise Robson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 01542 285010 or 07856 352464.

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