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Tea-obsessed Brits drink nearly 900 cuppas each every year

18th April 2015 Print

Living up to the stereotype of being obsessed with a cuppa, the average Brit enjoys 884 cups of tea each year – enough per person to fill more than two bathtubs with tea- according to a new survey commissioned by older people’s charity Contact the Elderly.

The YouGov survey of over 2000 Brits was commissioned to mark fifty years of the charity organising tea parties for isolated older people suffering from loneliness, and revealed that an average 17 cups of tea are consumed by the average Brit each week, working out at 884 cups per year.

Findings showed that our tea-drinking habits increase as we get older, with those aged 55 and over typically enjoying 21 cups of tea every week compared to 18 -24 year olds who typically only enjoy 8 cups each week.

Youngsters are more likely to turn to a cuppa when they’re sad, with nearly a quarter (24%) of 18-25s saying they put the kettle on when they’re feeling sad, compared to just 11% of 55 and overs. The poll also found that almost a third of women (30%) turn to a cuppa to make them feel better when they’re unwell in comparison to only 16% of men.

However, across the generations and the gender divide, Brits agreed that putting the kettle on for a cuppa signalled a time to relax. Over half of all adults polled agreed that they associated a cup of tea with comfort (58%) and the majority (65%) identified relaxing the top reason for having a brew.

Each month older people’s charity Contact the Elderly brings together different generations over a cuppa to combat loneliness in older people. The charity aims to relieve the acute loneliness of isolated older people, aged 75 and over, by hosting monthly tea parties in the homes of volunteer hosts across the UK.

The charity’s 7,500 volunteers are able to provide its older guests with much-needed contact to make new friendships with local older people and younger volunteers over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

The charity celebrates its Golden Jubilee this month, with over 5,000 people across the UK marking the occasion with a special ‘Big Fif-TEA’ party, bringing together volunteers and isolated older people across the UK.

A monthly tea party can make such a difference to someone’s life and the group provides older people like octogenarian Jean with valuable social opportunities each month.

Jean, 83, from Newcastle, said:

“Contact the Elderly’s tea parties are something I can look forward to every month. As I don’t have any family, I know that I won’t get out if I don’t make the effort to. At the weekend in particular, it’s very difficult for older people to get out and about as everyone else is busy, so Sunday tea parties are just fantastic.”

Mary Rance, CEO, Contact the Elderly said:

“This research confirms that tea really is part of our national identity. At Contact the Elderly, we know first hand that a monthly tea party makes a huge difference to the lives of our older guests, many of whom do not have regular face to face contact with anyone other than their carer or the postman.

“We’re very proud to be celebrating our 50th anniversary and are extremely grateful to our incredible volunteers for making our work possible. Fifty years is a remarkable landmark and in addition to celebrating our achievements to date we must think about the future of loneliness. The number of isolated over-75s is growing, and there are still one million lonely older people in England, Scotland and Wales who are completely cut off from society and in need of our help.

“We know from our parties and our research that a cup of tea brings Britain together, so as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, we urge people to support us by volunteering to put the kettle on for lonely older people.”

For more information on how to volunteer with Contact the Elderly or if you want to come along to a tea party, visit: