The events bring together small groups of people aged 75+ who live alone and may have little contact with family or friends. They are collected from their home by the same volunteer driver every month and taken to a gathering for the afternoon at a different venue each time.
Alongside the social element of a tea party, looking at objects helps the guests to start conversations with other members of the group and with museum staff. The museums also put on workshops, talks and activities.
While the tea parties are giving people who may have little contact with family and friends a chance to socialise, they are also enabling the museums to reach an audience they were not engaging in other ways.