Published: 13/02/2017 15:48 - Updated: 13/02/2017 15:53

Tea dance aims to help those feeling isoltated

Gramophone DJ Martin Mackay.
Gramophone DJ Martin Mackay.

OLDER people who enjoy music and meeting people are being invited to a free afternoon event aimed at tackling social isolation.

The Senior Springtime Social will bring together a variety of local musicians for a traditional-style tea dance, accompanied by refreshments.

The gathering is the idea of Gramophone DJ Martin Mackay, who plays shellac records on traditional gramophones.

He’s teamed up with Highland STV reporter Nicola McAlley to bring together local musicians and organisations with the idea of providing an opportunity for people to meet up, find out about local social organisations and hopefully make new friends.

“We have been hearing a lot about the elderly in our community feeling isolated – music is a great way for people to connect and I thought a Tea Dance could bring people together,” said Mr Mackay. “We hope lots of people will come along to enjoy the music, tea and cake – and maybe a spot of dancing too!”

The Senior Springtime Social will be held at Smithton Church Hall on Saturday March 25 from 2pm to 4.30pm.

The afternoon will see a variety of entertainment. As well as Shellac records from Mr Mackay, there will be music from local singer Alison Gilbert, live accordion playing by Frankie Fraser, and a performance from singer songwriter Emma Mitchell.

Miss McAlley told the Courier: “Martin’s idea really struck a chord. We would like everyone to feel welcome. As well as our fabulous musicians, we are very kindly being provided with tea and cakes, courtesy of Tesco Community, who have been right on board with the idea. They have even offered to decorate the hall for us, to add to the atmosphere.

“We will have members of local groups such as The Dunbar Centre and Contact The Elderly attending, so we would encourage folk to come along and find out about what they do and how they can get involved. As soon as you walk in the door there will be a friendly face to greet you – so please don’t feel shy if you want to come along but won’t know anyone – you soon will. We would also like to extend a welcome to people who feel isolated but perhaps aren’t yet ‘seniors’. Why not come and find out about these organisations and perhaps you could be a future volunteer?”

Mr Mackay added: “We owe it to the more elderly in the community to do more to help them. Loneliness seems to be a bigger problem than ever these days, and we would like to help to try to change that.”

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