Published Friday 23 January 2015 at 15:32
Music, bingo and a hearty meal got the thumbs-up at an event for older people.
The ‘Just Good Friends’ event at Derwent Hall in Darwen saw more than a hundred people entertained by a singer and battle for prizes in bingo. They were also treated to a meal of pie, mash and vegetables and a fruit crumble.
Organised especially for older people in the Darwen area, the event was part of Blackburn with Darwen’s ‘Your Call’ scheme, and aimed to bring people over the age of 50 together, to meet up with old friends and make new ones, and to boost community spirit and wellbeing.
Bingo prizes were £20 vouchers to spend at The Mall in Blackburn, and The Recycled Wrens got people dancing to classic 1950s and 1960s tunes from local singer Joyce Kearton.
Councillor Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, opened the event and helped to serve food to the guests, along with Councillor Brian Taylor, Older People’s Champion, and Councillor Eileen Entwistle.
Transport was kindly provided by Dial-a-Ride, picking up guests who needed transport from residential homes, sheltered housing and homes all over Darwen, taking them to Derwent Hall and then taking them home again after the event.
Representatives from the Falls Prevention Team and Telecare were also on hand to help guests with information and to help them stay safe and well this winter.
Councillor Hollern said:
This is a really special event and it exceeded all expectations – it was wonderful that so many people came along and really enjoyed themselves.
It is really important that we try to help older people have fulfilling lives and help them to meet other people. A big part of the Your Call campaign is building stronger communities and closer ties in darwen and in the borough and events like this can contribute to that.
Councillor Brian Taylor, Older People’s Champion, said:
We want older people in the borough to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives, with opportunities to spend time with their families and friends, and take part in activities that benefit them and their wider communities. I hope this event has given everyone who attended a real boost and I am sure some new friendships were made. I hope that we can repeat this event in the near future.