The women of Deans Senior Tea Club are calling out for more men – as they say they don’t have enough joining them for their various social activities.
Maria Davey runs the club from four different venues in Saltdean, Peacehaven, Telscombe and Seaford and it has grown from just a few visitors to over 250 members.
‘Most of our visitors are women, and they would love to have a few more men get involved,’ she said.
Maria left her job in the police service to bring up her two daughters and at that time became a private carer, helping a lady with dementia. Learning that she was lonely, Maria decided she wanted to help find her client some new friends.
‘It frustrated and saddened me that there were so many closed day centres, so I set up a club in Saltdean in 2013. I was nervous but I hired a hall and designed some leaflets and on the launch day four local dropped in and it grew from here. Huge numbers started to flood in and they would tell me how lonely they are,’ she added.
In just five years the Deans Senior Tea Club has be recognised with Carer of the Year, High Sheriff and Mayor awards - and thanks to a huge team of volunteers and a committee later - they are still growing.
The free weekly clubs provide somewhere fun and safe for all seniors and their carers/family and there are a variety of activities from arts and crafts, entertainment, games, ‘knit and natter’ – as well as lots of chat, tea and pastries!
There are also some reserved games tables – set up for a group of stalwarts who have been playing crib together for five years. Members new and old are welcome to introduce any ideas for adding to the choices of activity on offer.
‘We also have trips out, parties for special occasions – such as the royal wedding – and are always looking at new things to do,’ said Maria.
Relying mainly on donations and a share of the profits from Maria’s professional care business based in Brighton, the club has strong support from local people giving up their time to help out.
‘We couldn’t manage without our volunteers. They believe in our aim to combat loneliness and isolation and we are still growing. We would, however, really love to see more men join us as we have plenty for them to do and our ladies would love to see them.’
Further details can be obtained by calling Maria on 01273 307435 or visiting: www.thedeansseniorteaclub.org
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