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New ‘Contact the Elderly’ group launched in Crawley

News   •   May 03, 2019 12:13 BST

Superintendent James Collis (top left) and Chief Constable Giles York (top second left), with members and volunteers of the Crawley Contact the Elderly group

A new group dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people has been set up, thanks to a Sussex Police donation.

The new Contact the Elderly group for Crawley was launched on Sunday (28 April) at the home of Superintendent James Collis, who chairs the Chief Constable’s Charity Committee.

It comes after the national organisation was selected as the force’s charity of the year, as recommended by the committee.

A £5,000 grant was secured through the Police Property Act Fund (PPAF) to enable the launch, and it is hoped further groups will be set up across the county in other areas, including Crowborough and Berwick.

The PPAF is made up of monies received by the police from the sale of found property, and from property confiscated by order of the court and then sold. It is used solely to benefit voluntary and charitable organisations in Sussex.

Chief Constable Giles York said: “I have chosen Contact the Elderly as my nominated charity of the year for 2019, and I am very grateful to the Charity Committee for all they are planning and organising in support of the charity.

“Contact the Elderly is a nationwide charity which could tangibly benefit from our support. It exists because there are 500,000 older people in the UK who say they go five or six days a week without speaking to anyone. Loneliness is damaging to both mental and physical health. By providing regular face-to-face contact the charity empowers their older guests to improve their quality of life.

“They have a very simple concept which involves organising monthly tea parties for people over the age of 75 who suffer from loneliness. Older guests are paired with volunteer drivers who take them to and from tea parties. The tea parties are usually 5-8 guests and their drivers. The parties are held in the homes of host volunteers, who provide food and sometimes a fun activity.

“This is an excellent charity benefiting some of the most vulnerable and lonely in our communities, and I’m delighted to be supporting them this year.”

Anyone interested in volunteering for the group is encouraged to email info@contact-the-elderly.org.uk or call 0800 716543. Alternatively, you can visit the Contact the Elderly website. 

Author: Sam Satchell
Ref: SXP54618/2019

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