Boris Johnson and Barbara Windsor charity visit to Islington
Mayor of London Boris Johnson and national treasure Barbara Windsor descended on Islington today (Thursday) to highlight a local charity that helps lonely older people.
The pair headed to a house in Barnsbury where volunteers from Contact the Elderly were hosting a tea party for pensioners who would otherwise struggle to get out and about.
The charity organise a network of hosts and drivers who give up their free time to bring together a group of local over 75s who live their own.
Today Mr Johnson and Mrs Windsor joined the group for a cuppa to try and drum support for the organisation.
The Mayor even took a ride with one of the volunteer drivers to pick up an older guest and bring him to the party.
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Mr Johnson said: “It’s great to be promoting a charity like this in my home borough of Islington. Contact the Elderly is such a brilliant operation and we want to make many people get on the website and sign up.
“We are all living longer and there is so much to gain from older people. They are a massive source of amazing information, opinions and history.
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Mrs Windsor, said: “One of the reasons I left EastEnders was so I could spend less time talking about charities and more time getting involved. These groups are great - this is the life I know. It was always old people you looked after first when I was growing up, but things have changed and there isn’t the same sense of community as before. We need to get to know our neighbours and that’s why street parties are so important.
“I sometimes think you look at the past with rose-tinted spectacles, and they certainly weren’t all good old days, we had the war and rationing. But we always got to know the people living around us - even if half of it was just being nosy.”
Cliff Rich, executive officer of Contact the Elderly in London, said: “It means so much for the Mayor and Barbara Windsor to say to local people ‘give up some of your time to support us’. That is the message we really want to get across.”
Anyone wanting to volunteer can visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk or www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon.