The Canterbury branch of Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) has issued an urgent appeal for volunteer drivers, to help ensure the city’s older people do not fall victim to loneliness and isolation. 

Re-engage is the only charity solely committed to tackling the problem of social isolation, by helping older people to re-connect with their communities through regular face-to-face contact. 

Melanie Christodoulou, an Associate at law firm Furley Page, launched the new Canterbury tea party group in November 2019, and arranges the monthly get-togethers on behalf of Re-engage.  

Each month, Melanie works with a different volunteer to host an afternoon tea party for up to 10 elderly guests, many of whom are housebound and are driven to and from the party by a team of volunteer drivers. 

Melanie said: “We’ve been delighted with the group’s early popularity, but to be able to continue supporting our elderly guests we need the support of the local community.  

“The tea parties are a great way to bring older people together, at a time in their lives when their social circles are diminishing, and they have fewer opportunities to make friends. Our volunteer hosts are really hospitable, and I’d urge anybody in the area that knows a senior citizen who would benefit from companionship to consider our group. 

“However, without the selfless support of our volunteer drivers, who accompany the guests from their home to local venues, we won’t be able to keep up with demand. If you could spare a Sunday afternoon each month, or help as a reserve driver, please get in touch as we’d really value your support to secure the future of this initiative.” 

The next tea party for the Re-engage Canterbury Group takes place on Sunday 15 March 2020 at 3pm in Nackington, Canterbury. 

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should call Melanie Christodoulou on 01227 763939 or email 

For more information about Re-engage visit the charity’s website: 

You can also follow the firm on Twitter @furleypage and on LinkedIn.

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