Imagine only seeing another human being once a month.

That’s the stark reality for many older people, who live in isolation for much of the year.

Age UK says more than 90,000 people aged 65 and over in the East of England alone will only see close friends or family once a month or less.

Charity Contact the Elderly provides friendship and support networks for the elderly, by recruiting volunteers to host monthly Sunday tea parties for guests aged 75 and over.

There are groups across Braintree district, with Witham’s being one of the longest running at 31 years.

Wethersfield’s group celebrates its first anniversary this month.

For more information, call Linda Braeburn, Contact the Elderly’s East of England development officer, on 01279 417264 or

Full story in this week's paper.