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Over-50s dance their way to new friendship

Published: Fri, 11 Apr 2014
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Dorothy Wallace and Mary Collins of the Sunbeam Club with Mark Alexander, our Area Manager for Causeway.
Sunbeam tea dance
The over-50s of Coleraine will be dancing their way to new friendships when they are expected to converge on Millburn for a tea dance next week.
Millburn Community Association is to stage the tea-dance as part of a 12-week series of events to raise awareness of the group and to engage with similar groups across the borough, thanks to a £1480 community grant from the Housing Executive.
The estate’s over-50s club, with their new name (The Millburn Sunbeam Club), was formed about 18 months ago and has been increasing in numbers but it’s now keen to have its voice represented on the over-50s forums across the borough, as well as encouraging volunteering and ensuring the well-being of residents.
To date it has held an arts and crafts project using newly learned skills and passing those onto their grandchildren to make gifts for Mother’s Day. The group has also tried its hand at jewellery making and music therapy.
On Tuesday past, members came together for a reminiscence night, facilitated by local historian Robert Anderson, and will subsequently embark on an art project – a memory project – using the theme of World War I and they are hoping to incorporate an inter-generational element to the project.
A community festival will also be staged in July.
But coming first is the estate’s first tea dance when members will don their dancing shoes and hope to form relationships with other over 50s clubs in the area. It is hoped the dance can become an annual event.
Billy Ellis is the Community Development Worker for the group and he said: “The funding has been vital in galvanising the group by allowing us the means to organise the activities for the over 50s in the area, to bring them together and to help look at the wider picture of engaging with similar groups in Coleraine.
“The various workshops have provided group members with new skills and will enhance their welfare and well-being and encourage them to come together as a group to socialise.
Mark Alexander, Area Manager for Causeway, said: “We were delighted to award the community grant to Millburn Community Association and hope that the estate’s first tea dance will promote good relations between groups,” he added.
The tea dance takes place in Millburn Community Centre on April 17 at 7pm. If you would like to attend the event please contact Billy Ellis on 075 1481 5315.