Community gets dancing shoes on

MP JONATHAN Reynolds showed off his moves as a new tea dance aimed at combatting isolation in the community started.

The Stalybridge and Hyde politician was joined by several councillors and Tameside Mayor, Cllr Janet Cooper, at the first event of a 10-week trial for people aged over 50.

It proved popular as dozens of people turned up at Stalybridge’s Labour club on Acres Lane on Friday, September 10.

Dukinfield and Stalybridge rotary club members

One couple was thrilled as it was the first time in two years they had put on their dancing shoes.

But as well as giving people in the area the chance to strut their stuff on the dancefloor, there is a serious side to setting up the tea dance.

Cllr Jan Jackson, who was all hands to the pump and tea urn during the first event, said: “The reason behind it is to address isolation and loneliness among the elderly, although I don’t class myself as elderly even though I’m in the 50 and above category!

“It’s just to get them socialising again.

Cllr Jan Jackson gets on her dancing shoes with Jonathan Reynolds MP

“It’s for anyone over 50 and it’s free. There’s an afternoon tea, a raffle, tea and coffee and chance to dance.

“Isolation is a massive thing that’s hitting people of all ages but it’s very much affecting older people, particularly their mental health.

“But we were able to access some funding from the health budget and together with Action Together, we were able to get it on for 10 weeks.

“We’re trialling it over 10 weeks but we want it to continue. This is something that Stalybridge has been asking for and needed.”

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