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Afternoon Tea Raises Awareness Of New Age UK Service

A TEA party was held at a Northumberland care home to raise awareness of a “friendship line” for the over-60s.

The Age UK initiative, named Call in Time, is a free telephone befriending service for matching volunteers with older people.

The Oaks Care Home, in Blyth, held an afternoon tea for residents, relatives and friends to highlight the service ahead of its launch in Northumberland in 2018.

The home’s staff all dressed in vintage, 1940s tea room uniforms to serve tea, coffee, cakes, muffins and trifle as part of the event.

Resident Pat Whyatt said: “I had a good afternoon with my friends and it makes up for the miserable weather we’ve had lately.”

Paige Gallagher, activities coordinator at The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, said: “We all thoroughly enjoyed serving an elegant afternoon tea to the residents and their relatives.

“Our cook, Yvonne Gibson, made it a tremendous success with her baking.”

Age UK Northumberland representative Lisa Mordue also attended the afternoon tea, to talk to the residents and staff ahead of the county’s Call in Time launch.

The service will provide free, weekly 30-minute calls from a volunteer to an older person who shares similar interests and hobbies.

Anyone can register their interest in becoming a volunteer, with the aim of reducing loneliness and isolation.

Lisa said: “I’m delighted all the residents joined in the afternoon tea, as a lot of effort went into making it special.”

Ann Mielnik, home manager at The Oaks Care Home, said: “Loneliness among the elderly in our community is a terrible thing.

“The Age UK friendship line will help those who feel isolated and provide great advice on local services.

“I’m really proud of my team and all the efforts they made to make it a special day – from the delicious food to the vintage uniforms.

“We are aiming to raise funds for the Age UK service throughout the year so we hope the local community will get behind us and help generate as many donations as possible.”

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