Celebrating Margaret’s special birthday
Margaret, a very popular member of the Friday group in Knaresborough, loves a bit of Elvis, so for her special birthday we danced to “I can’t help falling in love with you”. We all wish you a very happy birthday, Margaret, and a wonderful year ahead!!
Fun and games with ribbonsticks in Darley
For just over a year now we’ve been working with the charity Carers’ Resource to run a monthly session at the Christchurch Community Centre in Darley for carers and the people they support. At our August session we had a great time warming up with some colourful ribbonsticks to the most beautiful music – The Tales of Hoffmann: Barcarolle, sung by All Angels.
As you can see everyone did incredibly well; even though the ribbons are 2 metres long and there were 17 of us twirling away we managed to keep tangle-free!
Happy Birthday Frank !
The Hampsthwaite group wanted to celebrate Frank’s big birthday with him and his wife Doreen who have been regular members of the group for 2 years now. We all sang the usual polite and slightly less polite (!) happy birthday songs and wished him many happy returns.
“Dancing despite Heatwave” – article in Knaresborough Post (2.8.18)
Partying at the Knaresborough Friday group
Our final summer party this year was at the Friday Knaresborough group and we were particularly delighted that some members who have not been well recently made a special effort to come. The temperature had dropped a degree or so and we were able to summon up the energy for some pretty lively dancing as you can see –
We were so pleased that Alistair Ratcliffe from the Rotary Club of Harrogate was able to take photos for us again. He has captured the spirit of the group and the fun and friendship we share together just perfectly. Thank you Alistair – you’ve done a brillant job!
We are really grateful to our invaluable Friday group volunteers – Angela, Sandra and Muriel – who organised our lovely tea, as well as doing 101 other things of course! Despite being somewhat reluctant to have attention drawn to them we managed to persuade them to pose for a great photo –
The Spa Town Ukes excelled themselves again. We loved their new numbers, especially The Proclaimers’ ” I will walk 500 miles” which was great to sing and dance along to. The band came to all our summer parties this year and were simply sensational! We send you our heartfelt thanks and will be in touch again soon about Christmas if that’s ok?!?!
Celebrating Maureen’s big birthday
The Friday Knaresborough group recently celebrated the lovely Maureen’s big birthday with her. Maureen joined the group in April 2017, she’s always ready to dance, chat and have fun, and is a much valued member of the group.
DWB at Woodfield Community Day
This year the weather was perfect for our demo at the Woodfield Community Day in the car park of the library. Thank you so much to all the Bilton group members, and volunteer Fiona, who came along. Several members of the public joined in enthusiastically too which was much appreciated.
Bilton Group’s Bumper-Sized Party
We were delighted that 30 members made it to the Bilton group summer party on the 11th July, and that two much valued DWB supporters – NYCC Cllr Geoff Webber and his wife Pat – were able to join us. The room somehow seemed to expand to cope with the numbers! Margaret introduced her new brain and co-ordination-testing dance to “Bend it” by Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, which caused a lot of laughter, then led us in a raucous singalong with actions to “I’m forever blowing bubbles”.
Happy Birthday Elva!
Elva joined the Tuesday Knaresborough group at its very beginning in June 2015 and rarely misses a session. She’s always so warm and friendly with everyone and is such a great asset to the group. When I asked her if she’d like to celebrate her big birthday with us and we discussed how old she actually felt she said “about 18”. So Happy 18th birthday Elva! And many returns!
Tuesday Group’s (Garden) Party
Another glorious day dawned for the Tuesday group’s summer party on the 3rd July. We were able to open the folding doors in the Derwent Room at the Chain Lane Community Hub to get a breeze and the lovely patio and garden backdrop made it feel like a garden party. The Spa Town Ukes were on form again and got members dancing in and out of their seats.
Our 3 wonderful volunteers – Lynne, Pat and Jane (bottom right photo) – worked really hard organsing and serving our lovely tea, yet still managed to look happy and relaxed for this after-party-tidy-up photo!
Partying at the Friends Meeting House
Monday 25th June was one of the hottest days this summer but it didn’t stop members of the Friends Meeting House group having a wonderful party. We didn’t want to get too hot and pass out so we had lots of water breaks, a fun game to help us remember each others’ names, and “Dancing for Well-Being” became “Not moving too much for Well-Being”. Not that you can tell from these lively photos which Penny, the daughter of one our members took – thank you so much Penny!
After the dancing / not moving too much, we had a lovely tea. As you can see below volunteer Elizabeth’s son Fraser (now almost 5 months’ old and sooo cute) was mesmerised by the Spa Town Ukes who did a fantastic turn for us!
In case you’re wondering ….. the dog, cat and yes, it’s a goldfish, that Kate is holding (top right corner photo) are all connected to this tongue-twister song and dance we do to Offenbach’s Can Can –
“My Dog he can do the can-can better than my cat can but my goldfish finds it very difficult. My dog he can do the can-can better than my cat can but my goldfish finds it very hard.
He finds it very very very very hard, he finds it very very very very hard, so very hard, so very hard, so very hard, so very hard, HARD HARD HARD!!!!”
Summer has arrived!
It’s time for our groups to celebrate the arrival of summer and our Hampsthwaite group got the party season underway in style on the 13th June. After some delicious home-baked scones provided by our wonderful volunteers some of us had enough energy to bop and jive to a brilliant programme of golden oldies provided by the Spa Town Ukes. Keith and Frances – you rock!
First Aid Training for Volunteers
Thanks to the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and in particular Don Buxton, we’ve just had an excellent workshop on CPR, how to use a defibrillator, putting an unconscious person into the recovery position and how to help someone who is choking. We all hope we’re never going to have to use these skills, either in daily life or when we’re in Dancing for Well-Being sessions, but it’s great to have them just in case.
New Chairs for the Hampsthwaite Group
In recent months we’ve been working with the Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall Committee to secure funding for new chairs which are more appropriate for Dancing for Well-Being sessions. And we’re very pleased to say the funding was awarded from the Knabs Ridge Wind Farm Community Fund via the Two Ridings Community Foundation and we now have some lovely new chairs.
The chairs make it easier for many more of our Hampsthwaite group members to stand for certain dances because they’re sturdy enough and tall enough to hold on to for support, as you can see in the photo below. Being able to stand to dance will help members improve their balance and help prevent falls. We are delighted with the chairs and really grateful to everyone who has helped us get them.
Bilton Quiz Team Winners
We won the cup, I say we won the cup!! Yes that’s right, a team from our Bilton DWB group won the much-coveted knitted (!) cup at the Bilton Community Centre Quiz night on 14th April.
Many thanks and congratulations to (from left to right) Jean, Fiona, Brenda and Shirley. We’d also like to thank 2 more members of this sharp-witted team – Fiona’s sister and brother-in-law Monica and Maurice who couldn’t be with us for the photo.
90 Years Young
We had a lovely time at the Hampsthwaite group recently celebrating Joan’s special birthday with her. When you’re 90 years’ young you need an impressive candle and we certainly had one!
You may not have heard of twiddlemuffs before. They’re knitted muffs with items attached which a person with dementia can twiddle with their fingers. It might sound funny, but they can actually be a godsend for some people with dementia, helping to quieten the mind and provide comfort and distraction. If they have restless hands this is something to keep their hands occupied. Twiddlesmuffs provide a wonderful source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation, and are snug and warm.
When Pat – one of our volunteers at the Tuesday Knareborough group – heard about twiddlemuffs she decided to have a go at making them and got several of our members involved too. As a result we were able to deliver these beautifully colourful twiddlemuffs to Amanda at Dementia Forward at their Hub in Burton Leonard this week. Amanda asked us to pass on a big thank you to all of you fantastic knitters!
Thank you to all our talented Easter Bonnet makers/wearers and Easter Bunnies for bringing lots of fun to our groups this week!
NYCC Support for the Bilton Group
When NYCC Cllr Geoff Webber came with his wife, Pat, to the Bilton group’s Christmas party he was so impressed that he recommended DWB should receive a grant towards the costs of the group from the NYCC locality budgets. Thank you Geoff – your support is very much appreciated!
Happy Birthday Jacqui
At our first session back after an enforced snow break (!) at the end of February it was lovely for the Bilton group to be able to celebrate Jacqui’s big birthday with her.
Welcoming our youngest member yet!
We were delighted to welcome Fraser to the Monday DWB group at the Friends Meeting House in Harrogate yesterday (19th February 2018). At just over 2 weeks old he didn’t have much to say for himself but at one point we heard the softest little snore ever – bless him!
Our lovely volunteer Elizabeth and her husband Ian couldn’t be more proud of their new son, and everyone at the Monday group was so pleased they’d been able to bring him in for a visit.
Christmas Party Fun!
The Christmas parties this year were the best yet! Despite the busy time of year, some illness and some weather issues a total of 108 members came to the parties, and if you add in staff, volunteers and guests the figure came to 140! So before we get to the photos and stories from each group’s Christmas party we must say a big thank you to everyone who came along and contributed to the lovely time we had together. We’d also like to say an extra special thank you to the Knaresborough Lions. At each party the dancing was followed by either lunch or tea and they very generously provided the funding for these.
Our first party on the 12th December was HUGE!! We brought the Tuesday and Friday Knaresborough groups together and squeezed 3 circles of 45 dancers into the Derwent Room at the Chain Lane Community Hub – the most we’ve ever had in there!We couldn’t let Pauline’s and Sarah’s big birthdays go by without a cake and sparkler candle (or two) –
Margaret’s husband, Paul, did a great job as our DJ for the afternoon, entering into the spirit in an amazing Christmas jumper! And we were delighted to welcome NYCC Cllr Nicola Wilson, who came along to find out more about what we do, and joined in with great enthusiasm –
On the 13th December it was the Hampsthwaite group’s turn to party –We were thrilled to have the Spa Town Ukes with us again. This brilliant band (see below) came to 3 of our parties, including the Hampsthwaite one, and as you can see (above – bottom right) we couldn’t resist dancing and singing along.We’d like to thank Rachel – one of the Friends Meeting House group volunteers – who came along to help out and take these photos for us.
The Friends Meeting House group party was on the 18th December and we had a fantastic turnout of 25 members. In the past few months this group has grown considerably and we’ve been delighted with the warm and friendly atmosphere at our sessions. Recently several of our members have not been well or have been recovering from operations and we were so pleased that virtually all of them were able to come to the party.Keen amateur photographer Alistair Ratcliffe from the Rotary Club of Harrogate was kind enough to come and take these photos, and as you can see he did a brilliant job!
We’d all like to say many, many thanks to our volunteer Beryl (second bottom from left wearing a much-deserved halo!) for playing carols and Christmas tunes while we had our tea; and also to 2 of the Hampsthwaite group volunteers – Pauline and Pam – who came along to help out that afternoon.
And finally on the 20th December – the Bilton group party –You can just about glimpse NYCC Cllr Geoff Webber and his wife Pat in the outer circle of the top right photo. We were delighted they could come and they clearly enjoyed meeting our members and joining in with the dancing.
As the photos of all the parties show, a lot of effort was made with Christmas jumpers, headgear, earrings, angel wings, halos, etc., but at the Bilton party John and Margaret took it to another level !! –
And finally finally, Margaret and I want to give our heart-felt thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who have helped and supported us, not just with the parties, but throughout 2017. Your help with practical tasks is of course much appreciated but you play an absolutely vital part in the warmth, friendship and laughter we have in all our groups – we simply couldn’t do what we do without you.
More BIG Birthdays
Friday group in the Knaresborough Post
Knaresborough Friday Group’s First Anniversary
We can hardly believe it’s a year since we started the Knaresborough Friday group – the time has simply flown by. At our first session on the 4th November 2016 we had a small and select group of 6 members. Now look at us – a year later we were delighted to have a much larger group of 18 members and 3 volunteers to celebrate with.
It’s not just about numbers of course. The important thing is if members enjoy what we do and feel they benefit from coming. We asked them how they felt about the group and were delighted with their comments –
“We always have a great time, a good laugh, exercise and fellowship.” Mavis
“It is really nice to meet every week. The company is excellent and my stiffness is so improved.” Emma
“Great friendship. (Am) full of aches and pains but definitely makes me feel better.” Lorna
“Great company, great exercise, lovely music. Definitely helped after a hip replacement.” Jean
“It’s fun and Margaret is a fabulous teacher. And the social side is great – everyone is so friendly.” Angela
“What a happy lot we are!” Emma
Wishing Mavis a VERY Happy Birthday!
As Mavis – a regular and very popular member of both the Tuesday and Friday Knaresborough groups – is about to turn ??? (well let’s just say it’s a nice round number), we all wanted to celebrate with her and wish her all the best.
Celebrating Norah’s big birthday!
We’re not saying how old she is (somewhere between a bus pass and a card from the Queen is all we’re allowed to say!), but the lovely Norah, who is a member of our Monday group at the Friends Meeting House, was old enough to deserve a cake, a firework candle and our very good wishes when she had a birthday recently.
After a slice of birthday cake and some of the yummy chocolates Norah generously brought to share with us we all felt we needed to start the session again to work the calories off!
School friends reunited…
Great article in the Harrogate Advertiser today (3rd August 2017) about Joyce and Babette who were classmates at the same school from 1945 to 1949 and were reunited 67 years later at the Bilton Dancing for Well-Being group…
And finally, our Monday group’s party….
Our Monday group recently relocated to the Friends Meeting House on Queen Parade close to the centre of Harrogate and we’ve all settled in very well there. The room we dance in has a grand piano in it just begging to be played; and we just happen to have a volunteer – Beryl Pankhurst – who is a professional pianist, so our summer party on 24th July was the ideal opportunity to put the two of them together! After a really good knees-up, Beryl led us in a wonderful singalong while we shared an excellent tea together with all the lovely food our members brought.
Bilton group’s turn to party!
We had an excellent turn out for the Bilton summer party on Wednesday 19th July despite the dark sky and threats of thunder. After some great dancing we were treated to a wonderful medley of songs by the Harrogate Spa Town Ukes, who are fast becoming our very own house band!
What’s new pussy cat?
A big thank you to the Bilton group members who came along to dance with me at the Bilton & Woodfield Library Community Day yesterday – 15th July. We had a lovely time and were delighted when several onlookers, including Anne Jones, the Mayor of Harrogate, and Frances Elliot from the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) joined in.
Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy and rainy so we stayed indoors as we 3 pussy cats didn’t want to get our fur wet!
We’re not done partying yet!
It was the Tuesday Knaresborough group’s turn for a party on 27th June and we certainly didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits. The Harrogate Spa Town Ukes serenaded us once again and we sang (and some of us couldn’t resist dancing too) with gusto to Delilah, Bring me Sunshine and various Beatles and Elvis numbers.Raffle prizes for the party were generously donated by Harlow Carr Gardens, The Academy, the Marigold Cafe in Knaresborough and Farrahs. They were very much appreciated by the lucky winners!
We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the husband of one of our members – Graham Archer – for spending the afternoon with us and taking these AMAZING photos. He managed to capture the spirit perfectly!
Knaresborough Friday group’s summer party
A good time was had by all at the Knaresborough Friday group party on 23rd June. We were delighted to welcome the Woolpack Concert Band from Otley, some of whose members were brave enough to join in the dancing before playing for us while we enjoyed our tea. They played some great tunes and we just couldn’t resist singing along. We were also treated to some performances from members – Doreen who impressed us on tamborene and Margaret who showed us some line dancing moves.
We would like to thank Bettys & Taylors and Harrogate Theatre for donating some lovely raffle prizes.
Doreen’s Birthday celebration
The Knaresborough Friday group recently celebrated a big birthday of one it’s very popular members – Doreen Blackwood. We’re not telling how big. As you can see she barely looks like she’s got to 50 yet! Many happy returns Doreen!
Hampsthwaite group’s summer party
After a few dull and rainy days the sun came out and the temperature hit the mid twenties yesterday – 14th June – just in time for the Hampsthwaite group’s summer party. We danced, we ate a wonderful “bring and share” lunch contributed by members and volunteers and we were entertained by the amazing Harrogate Spa Town Ukes. We also enjoyed a raffle, thanks to some prizes very generously donated by local businesses – the Joiners Arms, Sophie’s Coffee Shop & Bistro, Hampsthwaite Hair & Beauty and Hoopers.
In case you’re wondering…. Carol, Thelma and Frances were enjoying a Hawaiin moment while dancing to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and the photo of the whole group with the stretchy elastics shows us in the final moments of dancing the Can Can.
Creative Movement with Nicola
We would like to say a huge thank you to the Knaresborough Lions who recently awarded Dancing for Well-Being a grant to hold some creative movement taster sessions for members and volunteers.
The first one was held at Chain Lane Community Hub in Knaresborough on Saturday 3rd June and we were delighted to have 25 participants, including members and volunteers from all 5 of our groups, 2 staff members and the facilitator – Nicola Forshaw. Nicola is the Head of Dance at York St John University. She trained in ballet and contemporary dance, is experienced in teaching dance in community settings and is particularly interested in engaging people in dance activities for social change and well-being.
One of our Monday group volunteers – Elizabeth – took some great photos.
We had great fun with various colourful props, and in small teams managed to create our own choreographies which were just beautiful! Pretty impressive considering it was the first time many of us had done anything like that!
Our efforts were rewarded with a lovely tea which finished off the afternoon perfectly!
Putting on our Easter Bonnets
We celebrated Easter in style at all our groups this week with seasonal music and dances – Easter Bonnet, Tulips from Amsterdam, Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit, Run, Run Run, and Tiptoe through the Tulips. There were also a few actual Easter bonnets, rabbits’ ears, and LOTS of chocolate easter eggs. We danced with plenty of welly to wear off all the calories!
Bilton volunteer Liz’ chocolate bunny offering gave us lots of fun as you can see from Dorothy’s great photo of Rachel and Pat –
Celebrating Val’s 80th
Our most shy and retiring (NOT!) Hampsthwaite group member turned 80 this week (24th March) and we couldn’t let the moment pass without some cards, cake, fireworks and a tuneful (??) rendition of Happy Birthday. Many happy returns Val!
Come and Join us at the St Roberts Centre Group
A volunteer’s story
One of our Bilton group volunteers – Dorothy Hawkins – has been featured in the Harrogate Advertiser today (9th March 2017) talking about how she came to join Dancing for Well-Being and how much both members and volunteers enjoy and benefit from taking part.
As the article says – “Many thanks to Dorothy, both for being and for sharing her experience as a volunteer ” with us. Many thanks also to Karen Weaver from the Harrogate & Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service for making us the focus of her regular column.
A feature in the Yorkshire Post
Thank you to the Yorkshire Post for giving Dancing for Well-Being as an example of the kind of activity that improves well-being in later life. The article in today’s Yorkshire Post (page 3, 8th February 2017) refers to a study published by Age UK and the University of Southampton, involving 15,000 people aged 60 or over, which shows that, alongside other factors, exercise like dancing contributes to being healthy and happy when people get older.
It‘s CHRISTMAAAAAS !!!
The last couple of weeks have been PARTY, PARTY, PARTY at all the Dancing for Well-Being groups. You’ve never seen so many different Christmas jumpers, head-gear, earrings and brooches! We had a BRILLIANT time!
We owe some big thank yous to Arthritis Care Harrogate for the food for the party teas and to our lovely volunteers for all their hard work to make the parties go with a swing.
The new Friday Chain Lane Community Hub group is still quite small but the Christmas spirit was HUGE! We all loved Anne’s ensemble – particularly the Christmas pudding sunglasses! And thank you Santa for dropping by!
To commemorate Remembrance Day this month the Knaresborough Tuesday group did a warm-up to a medley of war-time songs and danced to Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. Thanks to the camera skills of our volunteer Pat here’s a wonderful photo of Emily as pilot and Sheila as co-pilot flying high –
Nice article in the Knaresborough Post
Good publicity for our new Friday group at the Chain Lane Community Hub in Knaresborough , which starts on 4th November –
Dancing for Well-Being Community Interest Company
REALLY EXCITING news! On 28th September 2016 Dancing for Well-Being became a social enterprise in the form of a Community Interest Company (CIC) – a company whose activities are undertaken for the benefit of the community.
About 6 months ago we started thinking about going down this route because the organisation felt quite precarious with just one person – Jackie Terry – leading the groups. We needed to make the existing groups sustainable, keep developing our skills and increase our capacity to run more groups and offer more services.
As a CIC we’re now able to apply to funders for grants to help us achieve these things. Funding will also help us keep our charges to members as reasonable as possible and try to ensure anyone who would benefit can join us.
We are working towards having more people in addition to Jackie who can run DWB groups. The group leaders will be able to cover for each other, develop new ideas and, together with our excellent volunteers, support each other to ensure the groups thrive and our work grows.
Jackie has been appointed as a Director and is being joined by two more Directors – Christine Boxall and Dorothy Hawkins – both of whom have been DWB supporters and volunteers for some time. More information about them and their responsibilities as Directors will be included on this website shortly.
There are many people and organisations to thank for their moral and financial support in helping us to reach this position; in particular – Liz Meade at North Yorkshire County Council, Lindsay Mitchell and Nanci Downey at Arthritis Care Harrogate, Sue Vasey, Simon Watterson and Lee Steel at Your Consortium, Natalie Smith at Harrogate Borough Council, and Nina Muir and Mark Hopley at the Harrogate & Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service.
None of this would have happened, though, without the enthusiasm and support of our members and volunteers. The joy and magic of the music and dancing comes from how we connect with each other. At every session we all bring our personalities, our humour and our willingness to let go and have fun together. Long may this continue!
Dancing with the Knaresborough WI
Keith and Joan’s 50th Wedding Anniversary
At the Hampsthwaite group on 3rd August 2016 we celebrated Keith and Joan Branford-White’s golden wedding anniversary with dances to love songs like Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and Chanson D’Amour. They were married on the 30th July 1966 – a day made even more memorable as it was the day England won the World Cup!
Keith and Joan, who live in Pateley Bridge, started coming to the Hampsthwaite Dancing for Well-Being (DWB) group 2 years ago and have been regulars ever since. They always loved dancing together – mostly ballroom and sequence dancing – but were finding this more difficult when Keith’s balance was affected by Parkinson’s Disease. They enjoy DWB because the dancing can be done sitting as well as standing. Keith is a poet and has made CDs of his poems and raised money in aid of the Harrogate & District Parkinson’s UK Group. He wrote a beautiful one to celebrate their 50th anniversary –
Woodfield Community Day
A big THANK YOU you to all the Bilton group members and volunteers who joined me to demonstrate Dancing for Well-Being at the Woodfield Community Day on 16th July. The weather was fine, if a bit blowy, and we were able to dance outside. As you can see from the photos above we roped in some of Betty Lupton’s Ladle Lakers Morris Dancers and a couple of policemen, who really put their all into it.
We had even more participants for “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts”. Many thanks go to Karen Weaver from HARCVS for taking a short video of this and then tweeting about it. To see the video just click on the link after @NYorksPolice below –
Knaresborough DWB group’s first anniversary party
The Knaresborough DWB group started with just 5 members in June 2015. It now has over 30 registered members and a regular weekly attendance of over 20 members. So we had every reason to celebrate our first anniversary at a party together on 28th June. Bill Rigby and Shan Oakes, Mayor and Mayoress of Knaresborough and Liz Meade, NYCC’s Stronger Communities Manager for Harrogate, kindly accepted our invitation and joined in the dancing like they were pros!
The members provided a very generous “bring and share tea” which we enjoyed whilst singing along to classics like Ain’t She Sweet, Blueberry Hill and Shake Rattle and Roll with the Harrogate Spa Town Ukes. A great afternoon was had by all, as you can see from the videos (thank you Lynne!) and photos (thank you Margaret!) below…
I am very grateful to NYCC Stronger Communities for supporting the group in its first year through the Try It Fund. We wouldn’t have been able to start the group without this.
And to our lovely volunteers – Jane and Lynne – I must say a huge thank you for everything they do to support the members and me. Both of them, together with many of the members, have been fantastic ambassadors for the group – encouraging friends and neighbours to come and give DWB a try. They have done a brilliant job of welcoming newcomers, helping them to feel they belong from day one. The result of their efforts is that the group is now full and we’ve had to set up a waiting list.
We’re now very much looking forward to an exciting second year!
The Mayor visits Bilton DWB group
We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate, Nigel and Lynn Simms, to the Bilton Dancing for Well-Being group on Wednesday 11th May. The Mayor’s term of office ends later this month so we felt very lucky that they were able to fit us into their busy schedule. They joined in every dance and were great fun, as this photo of them dancing with Pat and Myra to “Istanbul not Constantinople” shows –
Stray FM Interview
As part of the publicity for the first anniversary of the Bilton Dancing for Well-Being group I was asked to record an interview with Patrick Dunlop on Stray FM Extra’s show on Sundays called Your County. I must say I felt a bit nervous about doing this by myself so I asked Barbara Scaife and Lena Sturdy if they’d like to join me. They’ve both been with the group from day one and hardly ever missed a session. They were rather apprehensive but wanted to support me so kindly agreed to come along.
The three of us were squeezed into a tiny recording studio with one large microphone to talk into (I wish I’d taken a photo!) and I don’t think Patrick knew what hit him! At the start I was the hesitant one with rather too many errs and umms. But Lena and Barbara were just naturals! And once we got into our stride there was no stopping us.
Our interview featured in the Your County show on Sunday 3rd April. If you’ve got 8 minutes to spare please have a listen:
Celebrating the Bilton group’s first anniversary
It’s been a brilliant first year for the Bilton Dancing for Well-Being group! We started up on the 25th March 2015 and have had a lot of fun together, as you can see from previous entries on this News page. There are currently 26 registered members and you couldn’t wish for a more friendly and supportive group of people.
What members say about the group:
Pat Gallagher – “It’s a tonic. Even on a miserable day there is laughter. Music – excellent, exercise – brilliant. Just what the doctor ordered. Jackie is a very caring happy person.”
Rachel Gill – “A great crowd of happy people. Love it. The highlight of my week”.
Joyce O’Connor – “Such happy friendly people. Best laugh of the week – wonderful. Look so forward to Wednesdays.”
The photos below show us dancing and enjoying a lovely “bring and share” tea at our anniversary party on the 6th April. One of our members, Brenda Rider, made a beautiful cake which looked and tasted AMAZING! And it wasn’t just the group’s birthday – Joyce O’Connor was a day away from hers, so our volunteers, Dorothy Hawkins and Lynda Clough, brought her a cake and some flowers. We were very pleased to be joined by Richard Webb and Liz Meade from North Yorkshire County Council and Natalie Smith from Harrogate Borough Council who rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in – even helping with the washing up! We’ll definitely be inviting them again!
Dancing for Well-Being – working across the generations!
I always thought Dancing for Well-Being would appeal to all ages. But at the Bilton group’s first anniversary party on Wednesday 6th April this was put to the test. We were joined by Aidan, the 9-month old son of Merewyne Snowden-Youde, Harrogate Arthritis Care’s Social Media volunteer who kindly came along to take photos. He was an absolute darling – smiling and enjoying the music and grabbing the velvet elastic to dance the Can-Can with us as you can see below:
More photos of the Bilton party will follow shortly.
Happy Birthday Emily
102 years young!!
She’s an absolute inspiration to us all! Emily joined the Knaresborough Dancing for Well-Being group in September last year and we were delighted to celebrate her 102nd birthday with her today – 16th February 2016. We sang happy birthday of course and gave her 3 cheers. When she asked for the bumps we said we’d worn ourselves out dancing but promised to do them next year!
The card we gave Emily says “Anyone can be cool but totally awesome takes practice!”
Dancing with the Harrogate Over 50s Forum
I was very pleased to be invited to showcase Dancing for Well-Being at a meeting of the Harrogate & District Over 50s Forum last Thursday (21st January) at St Paul’s Church on Victoria Avenue. There must have been between 40 and 50 people there and we had an absolutely BRILLIANT time!
The Forum was originally set up by Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service and is now run by committee members. It meets regularly to discuss local and national issues which impact on the lives of people aged 50 plus and when appropriate represent their views. See http://hgdover50sforum.org.uk/ The theme for this meeting was how to stay as fit and healthy as possible in later life.
I thought some people would just want to watch, so we set up a dancing circle of chairs in the centre of the room and put other chairs around the outside. But no, everyone joined in with great enthusiasm from wherever they were sitting. A number of people came up to me at the end to ask for more information about joining a Dancing for Well-Being group themselves and took leaflets to pass on to friends as well. So all in all it was a most enjoyable and rewarding afternoon!
Christmas Parties !!!
The last couple of weeks have been filled with Christmas party sessions at all my weekly and monthly groups. We’ve had a great time dancing and singing to all the Christmas numbers, like Mistletoe and Wine, All I Want for Christmas is You, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Twelve Days of Christmas (with appropriate actions of course!), to name a few.
I’m afraid I only remembered to bring my camera to the Knaresborough group’s party, so I do apologise to the other groups for failing to embarrass them as well!
Just as we started to dance to Santa Claus is Coming to Town guess who popped in with sweets for everyone?
Some members really excelled themselves with Christmas hats, jumpers and jewellery. Sheila’s HO HO HO jumper even sang Jingle Bells!! (Thanks to Margaret’s husband John for this super photo!)
And finally, I thought Wendy in her wonderfully festive headgear deserved a solo photo –
Hands across the Irish Sea
A large group of members from the Ballymoney Arthritis Care Branch in Northern Ireland were planning a short holiday in Harrogate in early October. They decided to contact the Harrogate Branch of Arthritis Care (which supports the Bilton Dancing for Well-Being group) to see if it was possible to arrange a get-together. And to be sure it was!
No visit to Harrogate is complete without a visit to Bettys of course. So after a wonderful lunch in Bettys’ Imperial Room the Ballymoney Branch members joined the Bilton Dancing for Well-Being group to try to work off some calories and have some fun. We had an absoloutely hilarious afternoon together!!
Celebrating UN International Day of Older People with MAECare
It was the United Nations International Day of Older People on 1st October and I was very pleased to be invited by Moor Allerton Elderly Care in Leeds to lead a Dancing for Well-Being session with their members.
The room was packed out and MAECare members were great fun to dance with. We had a lovely morning together.
Dancing for Well-Being featured in Harrogate Advertiser
There’s a sizable article about Dancing for Well-Being, with lots of photos too, in today’s Harrogate Advertiser (1st October). Great publicity, just exactly what we need. I’m sure it will encourage more people to come and give us a try.
Article in The Guardian on 30th August about how great dancing is for older people
Brilliant article in The Guardian yesterday about some dance classes in North London run by the arts charity Create, which are improving the health and brightening the lives of older residents in the area:
The article talks about how dancing can play a valuable role in the physical and mental wellbeing of older people. It refers to how a Royal Society of Public Health report in 2013 found that music and the visual arts improved vital signs, reduced anxiety and blood pressure and highlighted dance for its potential in easing loneliness and in encouraging non-verbal communication. Physical benefits include improvements in balance, strength and gait, which reduce the risk of falls.
Bilton Community Centre Open Day – 22nd August
I enjoyed a great afternoon yesterday at the Bilton Community Centre Open Day with two lovely volunteers – Lynda and Dorothy. There was a lot of interest in the Dancing for Well-Being display and many leaflets were taken, so we hope to welcome some new members to our very friendly Bilton group in the next couple of weeks.
Bilton Group featured in Inspire Magazine
A few months ago the Bilton Dancing for Well-Being group took part in a photo shoot for Arthritis Care’s Inspire Magazine. “Keeping Moving” was the theme for Arthritis Care Week in May this year so the Bilton group, which is supported by the Harrogate branch of Arthritis Care and has many members with arthritis, was featured.
In the Autumn edition of Inspire Magazine, which has just been published, there are a two photos and an excellent write-up –
Woodfield Community Day on Saturday, 1st August
A huge thank you to the members and volunteers from the Bilton and Hampsthwaite groups who joined me for a Dancing for Well-Being demo at the Woodfield Community Day last Saturday – we had a lot of fun! Thank you to the people brave enough to join us and also to those not quite brave enough who tapped and clapped and sang along as onlookers.
The event took place in and around the now well-established Bilton and Woodfield Community Library in the grounds of Woodfield Primary School. It’s a fantastic library run by volunteers – a great resource for the local community.
Thank you to Anne Richards for these photos. We started off inside the library, then moved outside to make the most of this summer’s rare sunshine!
Photo Shoot for NYCC on 9th July
Had a lovely time yesterday with a small group of Dancing for Well-Being members who very kindly said yes to joining me for a photo shoot at very short notice.
North Yorkshire County Council have a regular pull-out section in the Harrogate Advertiser and were looking for a photo depicting services that promote health and well-being to go in their next issue which is due out soon.
Richard Webb, NYCC’s Director of Health and Adult Services, wanted to join us in the photo. He really entered into the spirit as we sang and pom-pommed our way through “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts”!!!
The staff at NYCC were very kind, welcoming us with refreshments and fans (it was hot hot hot!). Before Richard Webb arrived we were having a practice and the photographer – Richard Jemison – was so funny he had us falling about laughing!
Fairfax Community Centre
Family Fun Day on Saturday 6th June
Just got back from a lovely afternoon at the Fairfax Community Centre family fun day. My display was in the refreshments area so had lots of chats with people about Dancing for Well-Being over cups of tea and delicious cup cakes.
Chain Lane Community Hub Group Launch Event
We were delighted to have over 40 guests at our Cream Tea Party on Tuesday 19th May to launch the new group at Chain Lane Community Hub. The weather forecast was threatening all sorts so we were really grateful to everyone who made the effort to come.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Knaresborough, Tony and Lori Handley, came along and joined in all the dancing, as did Liz Meade, the Stronger Communities Manager at North Yorkshire County Council, who are providing some funding support to the new group for the first year.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the members from my existing groups who came along to give their support and to the AMAZING volunteers who helped make everything run so smoothly. We had a lot of fun!
A number of guests said they will definitely be coming to the new group which starts for real on Tuesday, 2nd June 2.30 -4.00 p.m.
Dementia Awareness Week
Dance bombing Harrogate Library on Thursday 21st May
I was invited to have a display at Harrogate Library during Dementia Awareness Week – 18-22nd May.
In case you’re wondering… we’re playing our trombones of course! This is a Charleston dance to Happy Feet and I’m dancing with my husband Glyn, who gets roped into everything (brave man), Debby Lennox, Community Liaison Worker with Dementia Forward (www.dementiaforward.org.uk) and Pet Fowler Watts from Memory Bank (www.memory-bank.org) Thank you to Ann Garman from Harrogate Library for taking these on her mobile phone as I’d forgotten my camara.