Durham University students help tackle loneliness of senior citizens

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A NORTH-EAST university has launched a group to help tackle the loneliness of senior citizens.

Following a successful launch of a Contact the Elderly group at Liverpool Hope University in June, a second university group has been launched by Grey College, Durham University.

The founder and chairman of Contact the Elderly, Trevor Lyttleton, introduced the project to Professor Henry Dyson and his colleagues, with the support from his sister Anne Rachlin, who is a fellow of Grey College.

Grey in the Community is led by president Hannah Langton and final year undergraduate and Junior Common Room vice-president Philip Kelvin.

The new group was launched in liaison with Mr Lyttleton, executive officer for the North and Midlands Mary Robinson and Sheila Ryder, who is development officer for the North-East.

A group of senior citizens were collected from their homes and hosted in the Grey College’s Senior Common Room, where a team of volunteer students welcomed them to their first monthly tea party.

Mr Lyttleton said: “Warmest thanks are due to Philip Kelvin for his inspired leadership and wonderful student volunteers who will maintain this vital link with isolated people in the Durham community.

“The success of this brilliant initiative and that of Liverpool Hope University, inspires us all in Contact the Elderly to achieve our Golden Jubilee 2015 goal of establishing Groups in universities throughout the UK.”

Mr Kelvin said “It has been a great journey from when the initial idea was proposed for Grey to be the proud host of the second Contact the Elderly University Project.

“I look forward to continuing our relationship with the charity and helping it expand and grow in the local area.”

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