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Afternoon tea and chatty benches combat loneliness in communities

The Audley Foundation hosted a series of ‘Friendship Afternoon Tea’ events in November across all of its retirement villages to help combat loneliness and bring together communities.

Over 150 people attended the events including property owners, care customers and the wider community including local care homes and organisations for older people. Guests enjoyed complimentary tea and cake and the opportunity to form new friendships and enjoy the company of others.

John Nettleton, Chair of the Audley Foundation, said: 

“The Audley Foundation was set up to support charities making a lasting difference to the lives of older people.  I’m delighted that our first event was to bring people around the community together. Numerous studies show that older people are at risk of loneliness and isolation, which makes creating communities absolutely vital.

“A simple event such as an afternoon tea can do so much to bring people from all different age groups together and I know everyone had an enjoyable afternoon. We look forward to hosting many more events like this in the future!”

The Foundation has also set up Chatty Benches in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to a dramatic rise in cases of loneliness. By breaking down social barriers and encouraging people to connect and chat, the Chatty Benches initiative is a small but effective way of tackling loneliness and isolation. The Foundation has allocated funding for its first chatty bench, which will be sited in Chalfont St Peter, hopefully by the end of 2022.

Founded in 2020, The Audley Foundation was set up to improve the lives of older people, particularly the lonely and less fortunate members of society.

Photo by Lucas Alexander on Unsplash