A national charity is urging people to set up tea parties to provide companionship for elderly friends and neighbours.

Contact the Elderly hopes to establish an Oswestry group with the support of volunteers by sparing just a few hours a month to provide tea and a chat.

The monthly volunteer-led tea parties help to combat the loneliness experienced by over 75s who live alone.

The concept is simple: older guests are collected from their homes by a volunteer driver, and taken to a volunteer host’s home, where they join a small group.

Kath Davies, Contact the Elderly’s development officer for the West Midlands, lives in Shrewsbury, where she volunteers for two local tea party groups as a host and reserve driver.

She said: “The charity is looking to expand the number of groups in Shropshire and is appealing for volunteers’ support to develop a new group in Oswestry.”

“Anyone who can spare a couple of hours one Sunday a month and has a car is eligible to volunteer as a driver. Becoming a host involves just a couple of hours once or twice a year. It’s not a big commitment, and our volunteers genuinely get as much out of the experience as our older guests!”

To find out more about volunteering a few hours once a month as a driver, two afternoons a year as a host, or becoming a tea party guest, please contact Kath on 01743 232992 or kath.davies@contact-the-elderly.org.uk