Day clubs mark 25th year of making dale friendships
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
MORE than 60 people attended a special afternoon tea at Raby Castle to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Teesdale Day Clubs.
A mixture of day club members, volunteers, staff and founder members were joined by special guests Lord and Lady Barnard, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Sue Snowdon and the mayor and mayoress of Barnard Castle, John and Karen Blissett.
Teesdale Day Clubs provides weekly lunches to more than 200 older residents in ten rural locations across Teesdale. Members and volunteers Ginny Trotter, Mary Prince, Joyce Jackson and Arthur Barker spoke about their own experience of the day clubs and how they have contributed and been supported them over the years. A slide show detailing the history of the clubs and showing photographs and quotes from members was also on display throughout the event.
The Lord Lieutenant spoke about how, in changing times and a fast moving world, village life has become fragmented, leaving many people at risk of suffering loneliness and social isolation. She said: “Statistics tell us that Teesdale, a largely rural area has a significant number of residents over 65, people who have few opportunities to speak to others and see people outside of their home, people who are at risk of suffering the problems associated with social isolation.
“Teesdale Day Clubs Association identified a need and recognised the ultimate antidote was friendship, which becomes increasingly important to our wellbeing as we age, and the association was formed – its mission is to make a positive contribution to the quality of people’s lives.”
The charity’s patron, Lady Barnard, said “I am enormously proud to be patron to such a worthwhile and successful organisation and I am sure that, with the continued dedication and hard work of the staff, volunteers and trustees, it will provide its valuable services to the local community for many years to come.”
Day clubs chairman Dr Peter Wood said: “Our aim as a charity is to minimise the adverse effects of people feeling lonely or being isolated by providing opportunities to spend time with other people. The celebration at Raby Castle was aimed at raising awareness about what we do as well as celebrating our 25th year. It has been a superb event and my thanks to all the staff behind the scenes both at the day clubs and at Raby, who made everything happen seamlessly.”