Surprise mass afternoon tea brings joy to Preston’s older people

Posted on - 7th May, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Health, Preston News
One of the afternoon teas that was distributed
Volunteers helped to make the afternoon teas

A surprise mass afternoon tea experience has brought joy to older people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Age Concern Central Lancashire and Waitrose Walton-le-Dale hosted the event yesterday (Wednesday 6 May), which saw 100 afternoon teas delivered to create an experience that people could be a part of in their own homes.

The organisations worked together to source the afternoon tea sets, rally volunteers to make sandwiches, and identify those members of the Age Concern Coronavirus Support Service who needed a boost.

One recipient of an afternoon tea, Mrs Green, said: “It was delicious. I cried when it was delivered. It is nice to know you are being thought of. Even though I am here alone, being part of this experience made me feel like I was joining in with something outside of these four walls and part of a community again. I can’t thank Age Concern enough for what they have done for me.”

Read more: Send a card to a Preston care home to help tackle loneliness during the pandemic

CEO of Age Concern Central Lancashire, Suzanne Carr, said: “This project has been about more than helping our older generation survive the coronavirus – it is really helping them to live well whilst in lockdown and know that they are appreciated. A small gesture has brought so much joy to those receiving it.”

Katie Watt, Assistant Team Manager at Waitrose Walton-le-Dale, said: “We are so pleased we were able to partner with Age Concern Central Lancashire to supply food for this afternoon tea, which brought a bit of cheer to elderly people in this difficult time.

“It was such a wonderful initiative to be part of and we are glad we were able to help this amazing charity to support those in need of our help.”

Some of the recipients of the afternoon tea
Some of the recipients of the afternoon tea

The afternoon tea project is part of Age Concern Central Lancashire’s Coronavirus Support Service. The service provides essential support for older people including delivering free food parcels, providing weekly shopping trips for those isolating, and befriending those in need during the lockdown.

A seven-day-a-week helpline has also acted as a lifeline for many older people. Mrs Green accessed the helpline in early April, saying that before reaching out to Age Concern she had struggled to get a hot meal for three weeks. She said the service had “brought her out of the depths of despair” and saved her life.

Read more: Age Concern’s Coronavirus helpline is there to support older people in need

Age Concern Central Lancashire is now encouraging health professionals, neighbours and families to think of an older person they know and check they are okay.

If someone you know could benefit from signing up to the charity’s Coronavirus Support Service, they can be referred by contacting Age Concern Central Lancashire on 01772 552850 option 0, or via the website.

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What do you think of the afternoon tea experience? Do you know someone who might benefit from Age Concern’s support? Let us know in the comments.

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