Popular line dancing class will keep stepping out

A line dancing class, offering older people fun and friendship, has secured its future during the cost of living crisis, thanks to funding from Telford & Wrekin Council.

About 35 people attend the weekly Tuesday class run by Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin. The charity successfully applied for £1,200 from the Safer & Stronger Communities project which aims to tackle social isolation. The initiative is led by Telford & Wrekin Council in partnership with Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion. A £500 top up means the cost of the classes will remain at £3 even if numbers drop off during winter.

As well as helping older people keep active, the group is a social lifeline reducing loneliness, especially in the aftermath of covid lockdowns.

Councillor Paul Watling, Cabinet Member for Safer & Stronger Communities said:

“I am thrilled that through the council’s Safer & Stronger Communities project this line dancing class can continue during the winter when fewer people may attend.

“The top up funding means the charity can keep costs at £3 per class which will help older people who may be struggling financially during these tough times.

“Groups like this are a vital lifeline in encouraging the elderly to get out and enjoy social interaction.”

The class has been running since January and is held at Casey’s in Donnington. Qualified instructor Madeleine Jones, who runs Silver Star Line Dancing Club with husband Paul, teaches the steps to a California Freeze, Pick A Bale and One Step Forward. After doing their heel steps, grapevines and mambos, members enjoy a chat over tea and coffee.

Roy and Sandie Driver look forward to dancing each week:

“The class is at a speed we can keep up with. Coming here we’ve reacquainted with old friends we used to dance with and made new friends.”

Another member, Kath Turner said:

“It’s a nice comfortable social group and keeps your body and mind active. It’s super fun. The dance teachers are fantastic and it’s like a family.”

Claire Fishlock, Service Development Officer at Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin added:

“As well as the physical benefits, the class is so important for improving people’s self-esteem and giving them the feel-good factor. We are grateful to Telford & Wrekin Council for the funding to help secure its future.”

The success of the Donnington class has led to a second launching in Hadley which also has a waiting list.

Telford & Wrekin Council has contributed £2 million to the Safer & Stronger Communities project, with an additional £500,000 invested by the PCC, over a two-year period. 

Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin runs a host of social groups and you can find out more at Welcome to Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin

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