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Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Last term, the Year 10 Christmas Post raised a grand total of £1,039.70 for this year’s chosen charity, Contact the Elderly. The Year 10 girls’ efforts in creating amusing and original sketches to perform on stage and their dedication in running cake and sweet sales, delivering Christmas cards across the school, and even spreading festive cheer with singing telegrams was all rewarded with generous contributions to the cause from the rest of the Girls’ Division.
Gwen Lightfoot, the charity’s Development Officer for Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and Joan Anderson, the Area Coordinator for Bolton, joined the girls in morning assembly to accept the donation.
The Year 10 girls and Mrs Entwistle explained a little more about Contact the Elderly and why it is needed. Nearly half of older people say they experience loneliness, but four in five people aged over eighty-five haven’t even told their own children. This is a huge problem for the country’s aging population.
Contact the Elderly was founded in 1965, and is the only national charity solely focused on targeting loneliness and isolation among the elderly. With the help of volunteers, monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties are organised for small groups of older people, helping to bring individuals together and create friendships that are fulfilling to everyone involved. The girls were also shown a short video about the experiences of older people who attend Contact the Elderly tea parties and the volunteer hosts and drivers, which really highlighted what a great difference the charity makes.
The Year 10 girls were inspired to help Contact the Elderly after hearing about it from Molly Marshall, a girl in Year 10 who already volunteers with the charity. Thanks to their hard work, and the generosity of other year groups, the girls were able to cheque for £1,039.70 to the Contact the Elderly representatives.
Addressing all of the girls, Ms Lightfoot said, “Thank you for all the hard work that has gone into raising this money. However, this is not only about raising money, but also the fact that the word about Contact the Elderly is getting out there, especially to young people like yourselves.”
She went on to talk about how the girls will be the next generation of volunteers whose help will be needed. She also reiterated the idea from the video that the social contact at the tea parties means so much to the older people, but also to the volunteers.
This was a fantastic achievement for the girls to have raised so much money, which will go back into arranging more tea parties and setting up new groups to enjoy one another’s company.
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