EDLERLY people affected by loneliness came together for a big tea party in Oxford.

The new event, launched by Aspire and Cutteslowe Community Association, was aimed to provide the city’s older residents with much-needed company and entertainment.

Thousands of elderly people in Oxfordshire live alone and Aspire says loneliness is a major risk to their health and wellbeing.

The Oxford Big Tea Party, supported by students and volunteers, is a response to what Aspire calls a ‘loneliness crisis’ faced by elderly people in Oxford.

Eighty elderly people attended the event at Cutteslowe Community Centre on Friday, which was part of the national Great Get Together campaign inspired by Jo Cox’s commitment to bringing communities together.

A number of events took place across the county over the weekend in memory of the Labour MP, who was murdered on June 16, 2016.

A total of 92 per cent of Aspire’s community transport passengers live alone and 58 per cent say they would not leave their home at all if it wasn’t for the service.

The community transport service is provided to people with mobility problems who cannot use conventional public transport.

The event also helped launch Team Oxford, a movement to get everyone creating a better city, one that is 'happier, healthier, more connected and more empowered'.

A key driver for the event was to encourage and enable more volunteer drivers and befrienders, which aligns with Team Oxford’s ambition to make it easier for a wider range of people to make a difference for the city.

For more on Team Oxford visit team-oxford.co.uk