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Eddie's dance

at the old fire station

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Funding awarded - £500

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1 tea dance, live music and food

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40 local people attended

AT A GLANCE:

A local resident (Eddie aged 80) wanted to arrange an evening social for local people over 60, to help them reconnect after lockdowns. With support from the Old Fire Station, the event was a fun evening with music, dancing, food, drink and games for 40 people.

 

WHY WAS THE PURPOSE?

The idea came from Eddie, a regular visitor to the café at The Old Fire Station. He wanted to arrange an evening dance as he finds it lonely being at home as his wife is living in a care home. Eddie got to know the people in the Old Fire Station and talked to them about his idea. The staff helped organise the event, using Eddie’s ideas and those of regular people who come to the groups regularly.

 

“I would like them to put on a dance with a live band, food and a bar. The band would play cover versions of songs from Elvis to Queen. The food can be made by the café team who could do a curry or buffet. We can clear a space in the café for a dance floor and have a really fun night” (Eddie)

WHAT DID IT DO?

Up to 40 local people over 60 attended the dance. These were mainly people who attend activities at The Old Fire Station but some came from other areas of Leeds. Many of these people didn’t have access to local evening activities and may be feeling isolated or vulnerable after the pandemic.

WHAT DIFFERENCE DID IT MAKE?

It brought people together who have been lonely. It gave them a chance to go out in the evening, to have some fun in a safe place. There aren't many places for older people to go in the evening in this area and people really enjoyed coming to the dance. It was the first time the Old Fire Station had done an evening event.

“It just shows what you can do with a small amount of money ...and that we are genuinely listening to local people about what they want. The idea came from Eddie and wouldn't have happened without him”

DID THE GRANT PAY FOR?

The £500 grant paid for refreshments for 40 people (£200), a band (£250), a temporary Event Notice for selling alcohol (£21) and decorations (£29).

 

The Old Fire Station provided the room hire and support from the staff team free of charge to support the event.

NEXT STEPS

Plan is to apply for more funding to do other similar events in future. Next time --they would build in more games and bingo and invite more people but keep it for those over 60.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN?

It was so quick and easy to apply for Hey Neighbour and it was perfect for an event like this. It shows what you can do with a small amount of funding and a bit of initiative! It was very straight forward to organise but we need to ensure staff capacity is available to cover evening events. Staff cover is important so that older people feel safe and comfortable and welcome.

BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOUR MEANS:

“It means looking out and for people and being friendly. You never know when someone is feeling down and people often won’t tell you if we are all just nice to each other then that helps. When people look after each other communities get stronger and people feel part of something and not so worried and overwhelmed by things as they know where to go if they help or feel sad”

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