Ann Widdecombe is the star of our Afternoon Tea

Ann Widdecombe is the star of our Afternoon Tea


Our annual Afternoon Tea, held yesterday at The Shrubbery in Ilminster, proved to be a great success – with Ann Widdecombe stealing the show.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘later life’ and the issues that affect older generations and their families. We were honoured to be joined by not only Ann Widdecombe, but also by Julia Cook, a community engagement volunteer from the charity, The Silver Line.

The Silver Line, founded in 2012 by Esther Rantzen, provides a confidential free helpline for older people across the UK. Julia gave a moving account of the charity’s work to not only be a friendly voice at the end of the phone, helping connect people with local services in their own area and also offering a letter friendship scheme between volunteers and the elderly.  The Silver Line phone number is 0800 470 8090, it is free to call and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Milford & Dormor Financial Planning’s Matthew Clark followed Julia and spoke about the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA), with whom we are accredited, the benefits of using a SOLLA registered financial adviser, and about the services we offer.

Sally Lowe of Milford & Dormor Solicitors spoke about vulnerable clients, and the services that the firm can do to help them and their families at times of need. Milford & Dormor Solicitors are also accredited with the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

Finally, Ann Widdecombe took to the stage to wow our 100 or so guests with stories of life as an MP in Westminster together with her TV appearances on Celebrity Fit Club, Have I Got News For You, Strictly Come Dancing and more recently, Celebrity Big Brother. She spoke openly and honestly about her 23 years as an MP, current politics and Brexit, as well as lighter topics such as the outfits worn on Strictly.

Ann sold and signed copies of her six books, very kindly donating all the proceeds from the sales to The Silver Line.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year, and welcome any ideas as to who we could invite to talk, Ann has left some big shoes to fill!


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Rachael Cameron