A popular high street baker has backed a charity’s scheme to help tackle loneliness among the elderly.
Contact the Elderly offers a lifeline of friendship to older people who live alone. Volunteers host tea parties in their home for a group of between six and eight people on a Sunday afternoon.
Hosts are invited to collect tasty treats for their Sunday tea party from their local Greggs late on a Saturday.
The original contact between the Greggs and the party is arranged by Contact the Elderly staff. A volunteer coordinator would then just contact the store ahead of their monthly party.
The scheme covers cakes and non-savoury pastries. As it’s the end of day stock, there is a double benefit in that it reduces Gregg’s food wastage.
Recent research by Contact the Elderly has shown that these friendly tea parties really do make a difference, with 95% of guests saying the parties give them something to look forward to and 77% saying they feel happier because of the parties.
Contact the Elderly has 123 groups in Scotland. In the past year, it has welcomed more than 20 groups and hopes to repeat that success in the coming year.
The areas in Scotland which take advantage of the Greggs offer are:
Kippen, West Lothian, Cambuslang/Rutherglen, Angus (Brechin, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Montrose and Carnoustie), Clydebank, Glasgow, Greenock, Aberdeen (several parties), Lochwinnoch, East Kilbride, Hamilton and Coatbridge.
Morna O’ May, Head of Service Scotland at Contact the Elderly, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Greggs for the ongoing support its bakeries throughout the country provide for our tea parties.
“The value of enjoying a shared afternoon of cakes and company is immeasurable. Thanks to our amazing volunteers, alongside organisations such as Greggs, we can ensure scores of older people, who may otherwise have been alone, are enjoying a vital lifeline of friendship on a Sunday afternoon.”
A Greggs spokesman said: “As a business, we believe in supporting the local communities in which we operate and Greggs is proud to work with Contact the Elderly. Since January 2016, a number of our shops in Scotland have committed to providing cakes for the guests to enjoy at the monthly get-togethers.”
Contact the Elderly has been doing great work in Scotland for 46 years, with the first group being established in Glasgow in 1971.