Printed Date: 27/04/2018

GLL Tea Dance Brings Local Older People Community Together

On Thursday 18 August, GLL held a Tea Dance event at York Hall Leisure Centre for older and disabled people.

The event was organised after consultation with the Tower Hamlets Council and the wider community who showed a great appetite for the fun and engaging day. Residents came from local care homes to the dance and Age UK supported the event by transporting older people to York Hall.

The Tea Dance provided a chance to raise awareness of the Dementia Friendly Swimming Project GLL deliver in partnership with the Amateur Swimming Association and to promote the Young@Heart Older People’s Programme in Tower Hamlets.

The event also helped gain valuable insight into how to reach and engage the community in future events.

Around 175 people attended the Tea Dance event, the majority of which were older and disabled people, including 50 who live with dementia.

The attendees had a chance to socialise with other like-minded individuals, make new friends, watch the entertainment, and dance with the GLL staff at York Hall, helping make it a great day. The event helped support older people in the Tower Hamlets community to combat isolation.

One attendee, who is a regular Young@Heart participant, had a number of family members with musical talent on show at the event with three generations of singers bringing smiles to the faces of their audience.

Many of the participants were very excited about the event with one lady commented saying: “I have been up and dressed for hours excited about coming today.”

Tower Hamlets Mayor, John Briggs, whose mother lives with dementia, also joined in with the celebrations.

Jeanette Spenner, GLL Dementia Swimming Co-ordinator said “Events like this are all about improving the quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers."

“Today is the perfect example of how networking with other partners can do just that and how GLL can really make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

Duane Newton, ASA Dementia Friendly Swimming Project Lead, said: “It is fantastic to see our partners looking beyond the swimming pool, and using their contacts to bring together people living with dementia and other older people to enjoy socialising and meeting new people.

“The Dementia Friendly Swimming Project is not just about swimming. It’s about improving the quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers. This Tea Dance event is the perfect example of how networking with other partners can do just that.

“As the Dementia Friendly Swimming Project grows, we should see more of these kinds of event promoting both the project and swimming, but also encouraging older people to get involved in many different kinds of events.”

For more information about the Dementia Friendly Swimming sessions click here: http://www.better.org.uk/dementia-friendly-london or contact Jeanette Spenner on 07956 290221.