Jubilee party fun for local older residents
For immediate release
Older residents of Gosport Borough treated to a Platinum Jubilee Tea Party, thanks to Morrisons Gosport and two local charities
Gosport, Hampshire, Tuesday, 31st May 2022
Eight older, socially isolated residents of Gosport Borough attended a celebratory tea party in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Morrisons Gosport café yesterday, Monday, 30th May, thanks to an initiative coordinated by local charities, Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) and Community First. The event, planned by GVA, was made possible thanks to the generous donations of local supermarket, Morrisons Gosport, who hosted and catered for the afternoon spread, free of charge, and thanks to Community First, who provided free transport and a volunteer driver for the afternoon, which enabled the eight residents to participate in the joyful occasion.
The afternoon tea party was opened by Cllr Jamie Hutchison, The Worshipful Mayor of Gosport, and his wife, Mrs Karen Hutchison, Mayoress of Gosport, and attended by Trudie Longhorn (Morrisons Gosport Community Champion); Kay Hallsworth (GVA Chief Executive Officer); Angela Gill (Health & Wellbeing Associate), Ed Langford (Community First Driver) and Dawn Ward (GVA Welfare Manager). All eight of the older residents who attended the party are beneficiaries of Gosport Voluntary Action’s support services aimed at enabling older and vulnerable residents to continue living healthily and independently in their own homes.
Kay Hallsworth, GVA Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The upcoming Jubilee celebrations are an exciting time for many of us, but we wanted to find a way to ensure that our local older and vulnerable residents – particularly those who live alone and have extremely limited social contact – are included in the festivities, as they rightfully should be. Thanks to the remarkable generosity of Morrisons Gosport and all their delicious food donations, and the kind support of Community First, who provided free transport and a volunteer driver for all our guests, the afternoon tea was a royal success. It was fantastic to see our older guests get to know one another and enjoy this uplifting occasion together.”
One of the guests said: “I recently lost my wife. We’d been married for 70 years. I miss her dreadfully. It’s been really nice to have been here this afternoon. I’d considered putting it off, but I’m so glad I came.”
Dawn Ward, GVA’s Welfare Manager, reflected on the day: “We’ve had a lovely time and made eight people very happy. It was so nice to see them all smiling and chatting to each other, and to see how they all arrived as strangers, and left as friends.”
Commenting on the contribution of Trudie Longhorn (Morrisons Gosport Community Champion), who first suggested the idea of the tea party, following the success of a similar collaboration between GVA and Morrisons Gosport in support of isolated residents over the Easter period, Dawn added: “Trudie at Morrisons has done a fantastic job. She really likes to help in the community. She even bought each of the guests a jubilee pin badge! Morrisons Gosport are very lucky to have Trudie, with her truly caring nature. It’s a privilege to be able to work alongside someone that demonstrates compassion and strives to do her best for those in our community.”
Ed Langford (a community transport driver for Community First who kindly volunteered to transport the guests to and from the event) said: “I’m really pleased to enable the disabled and vulnerable people of our community to get out and enjoy an afternoon with GVA & Morrisons at their Jubilee Tea Party. It’s not just about driving people about, it’s more than that: it’s about getting involved and chatting with the passengers.”
Cllr Jamie Hutchinson, Worshipful Mayor of Gosport, remarked: “What a lovely afternoon! I have thoroughly enjoyed the scones and cream! Thank you to GVA & Morrisons for inviting me and my wife. It’s lovely to be out in the community, with the people of Gosport.”
Tim Houghton, Chief Executive Officer at Community First, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer transport to those who are lonely and isolated to join in the Jubilee celebrations. Loneliness affects many people at one time or another, and often it’s as simple as laying on accessible transport with a friendly driver to help people access opportunities and socialise with friends. Community First’s Community Transport is a real lifeline, particularly for those who find it more difficult to get out and about. We operate ‘Dial-A-Ride’ and other affordable services throughout the year.”
Kay Hallsworth, GVA Chief Executive Officer concluded: “Initiatives such as this are a fantastic example of how communities are made stronger and healthier by pulling together, as a team. Many of our services for older and vulnerable people – such as our volunteer Befriending or Advocacy services, our non-profit ‘Mend & Tend’ gardening/DIY service, or our ‘Dustbusters’ domestic cleaning & shopping service – are aimed at supporting older and/or vulnerable residents to continue living full, healthy and happy lives in the comfort of their own homes. Ultimately, though, the biggest difference comes from connecting communities and building a kinder, more united society, so that all local residents feel seen, heard and duly appreciated. We hope today’s guests enjoyed the tea and festivities as much as we did!”
For further press information and high-resolution images, please contact Kay Hallsworth, GVA Chief Executive Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kate Durbin, GVA Communications & Engagement Officer, on email@example.com
About Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA)
Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) is a registered charity and the umbrella body (Council of Voluntary Action) for Gosport and surrounding areas. GVA’s mission is to support and deliver services to local voluntary and community groups (by assisting with governance issues, finding funding, recruiting and managing volunteers and accessing training, among other areas) in order to make a positive difference to Gosport Borough residents. GVA is passionate about improving the quality of life for all residents of Gosport, but in particular those with disabilities or who are disadvantaged in some way.
For more information, please visit our website at https://www.gva.org.uk/, or find us on the following social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.