Community groups in Shiregreen are being encouraged to support the long term future of tea dances that help reduce social isolation and loneliness among older people.
Following the success of the first Teapots and Twirls in September last year, Sanctuary Housing has agreed to support two more sessions but is looking to work with local community groups or centres in Shiregreen to take on the running of the tea dances in the future.
More than 30 locals gathered to chat and socialise for a few hours away from home at the first tea dance and residents will again get the chance to enjoy afternoon tea and music from an entertainer in Shiregreen Neighbourhood Centre on 19 January and 23 March from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
Melanie King, Sanctuary Housing’s neighbourhood partnerships manager for Shiregreen, said: “After the success of the first tea dance in bringing people from across the neighbourhood together, residents told us that they would like more to take place.
“We want to hear from people in the community who we can work with to make these tea dances sustainable in the long term. Backing a community event like this can make a real difference in helping our residents feel less isolated and live happier, healthier lives.”
Resident Maureen Taylor, 79, went to the first tea dance where she was chatting with Lily Mosforth, 91, and Patricia Barrowcliffe, who is in her late 80’s. She said: “Community events like this tea dance are important to many older residents as it can be the only opportunity when they get out of the house and mix with other people.”
Maureen added: “It can be a very special time to someone who is feeling lonely. Many of those at the tea dance were much older than me and there were a lot of smiles and happy people enjoying it, so I’m glad there will be more tea dances this year.”
The new tea dances are funded by Sanctuary Housing’s Community Investment Fund, which supports projects that benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.
Anyone interested in attending or supporting further tea dances in Shiregreen should contact the Shiregreen neighbourhood team on 0800 131 3348.