Dust off those dancing shoes! The Queen prepares to celebrate her 90th birthday this month and residents of Tower Hamlets are getting set to mark the occasion. On 7 April, the East End Community Foundation will host their next ever-popular tea dance, which this year, will be fit for a Queen!
Sponsored by Delancey, the inaugural event was set up back in 2006 with the aim of tackling isolation by bringing elder local residents together for an afternoon of tea, cake and dancing. It forms part of a series of activities run in partnership with the Docklands 50+ forum – an umbrella group of clubs coordinated by the East End Community Foundation (EECF), who provide services to elderly people in the Tower Hamlets area.
Though the borough has changed significantly since EECF first launched the annual tea dances, the need for the project is still evident. Sadly, almost half of older people in Tower Hamlets are living in income deprivation and people aged 80 or over are twice as likely to report feeling lonely compared to other adults. EECF provide events such as the tea dance and coach trips to help bring the community together by meeting new people.
Tracey Walsh, Chief Executive of East End Community Foundation, said: “The beauty of the tea dance is that it is a very simple idea, to bring together local elderly people and volunteers from local businesses, but it has such an impact on all those involved.
“Year on year I am delighted to hear from local elders how much they enjoy meeting people at the tea dance and the chance to get out of the house and put on their dancing shoes for an afternoon. We are delighted that the project still meets needs in the local community ten years after launch and would like to thank this year’s sponsor, Delancey, for helping to make the event a success.”
Since its launch in 2006, each year has grown in success and April’s event is expected to be bigger and better than ever with a predicted 200 attendants! As well as marking the organisation’s tenth anniversary, this year’s tea dance will be specially themed for the Queen’s birthday celebrations.
Attendees can expect nothing less than a quintessentially British spread of tea and cakes and, of course, plenty of lively dancing! And, while the Queen herself is not guaranteed to make an appearance, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has confirmed attendance from between 3pm – 4pm.
The East End Community Foundation Tea Dance is set to take place on Thursday 7 April from 1pm – 4pm at George Green’s School, 100 Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs, E14 3DW. More information can be found on their website.