Happy 92nd birthday to Kath Proud – one of our regular customers at our Benton store in Newcastle. Kath came along to the store for a special afternoon tea party for over 75s who live on their own.

The store’s Community Champion Mel, pictured above with Kath, teamed up with Asda Gosforth colleague Michelle and the charity Contact the Elderly to organise the party.

The charity arranges monthly tea parties for elderly people who live alone, and this month the group celebrated two special occasions with cake – Kath’s 92nd birthday and Norma Miller’s 90th.

Anne Denholm, who volunteers for Contact the Elderly, said: "Each month a group of six goes to a different host which is usually someone’s home, but this is the third time we’ve joined two groups together for a tea party in the Asda colleague canteen.

“The tea parties bring people together, give them company, a reason to come out and an opportunity to build relationships.

“Because these people are isolated, it can be one of the very few social events they attend. This might be the highlight of their month.

“I’ve always felt that one of the things that happens when you’re isolated is your birthday gets forgotten or not noticed. But if you’re part of a group like this, your birthday is noticed and valued.

“It’s great that an organisation like Asda is willing to participate in events such as this.”

Anne said: "There was an instant visual impact when we walked in with decorations and even colour-coordinated napkins. It looked beautiful.

“Mel and Michelle were so warm, welcoming and friendly everyone was instantly put at ease. They were very attentive and kept everyone’s cups of tea topped up!

“Norma said she’d enjoyed her special birthday celebration. All the ladies commented on how attractive the table looked and what a lovely afternoon they’d had.

“Everyone, not just the birthday girls, really appreciated their efforts. It was very successful, a lovely atmosphere and they enjoyed themselves so much they didn’t really want to leave when it was all over.”

Contact the Elderly have a network of volunteers, and each group of elderly people is allocated a number of drivers who transport them to various events.

Mel said: “This was my first time hosting this event and the first time I’ve been involved with Contact the Elderly, and it was a brilliant day. It went really well and everyone enjoyed themselves.”