A new group dedicated to tackling loneliness among older people has been set up with a Sussex Police donation.
The Contact the Elderly group for Crawley was launched at the home of Superintendent James Collis, who chairs the Chief Constable’s Charity Committee.
The organisation was selected as the force’s charity of the year.
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.
The PPAF is made up of money received by the police from the sale of found and confiscated property.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 716543.
Alternatively, you can visit the Contact the Elderly website.