Store staff hold Valentine tea dance

A group of 60 pensioners got together for a special Valentine's Day tea dance arranged by two community champions.

Tuesday, 14th February 2017, 3:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:44 am
Asda community colleagues Tracey Tough, from the Boldon store, and Mavis Maughan, from the South Shields store, with couples at the Boldon and Blyth Valentine's tea dance at the Charles Young Centre in South Shields. Picture by North News & Pictures

Asda workers Mavis Maughan, from the South Shields store, and Tracey Tough, from the Boldon site, arranged the event at the Charles Young Centre in South Shields along with dance teacher Hugh Hunter.

As well as a Valentine’s Day rose for each guest, the organisers put on refreshments.

The group included 91-year-old Edna Blackburn and her friend Madge, who’s 95.

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Mavis said: “Everyone who was there told me they had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it.

“They’re such a lovely group of people and the ladies like Edna and Madge are just amazing – I don’t know where they get their energy from.

“There were a few ladies who came on their own, but the dance instructor soon got them up on the dance floor; even Tracey and I had a go!”

Tracey and Mavis regularly volunteer at the centre, which has been completely refurbished with the help of grants from the Asda Foundation.

Hugh runs a dance class for pensioners at the centre from 2pm to 4pm every Friday and plays music from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, so guests can enjoy their favourite tunes from when they were younger.

He said: “The whole idea of what I do is to include people and make it fun so everyone can join in. It’s not about getting the steps right, it’s about keeping active and having a good time.

“Mavis and Tracey were lovely and so good with everyone. Asda have done an awful lot of work for the centre and the local people.

“I think the community centre would have closed down without Asda’s support, so I know that’s very much appreciated.”

The centre opened in 1982 and offers meals and entertainment for elderly locals as well as hosting all sorts of different community groups.

It fell into disrepair, but a £21,000 grant from the Asda Foundation in 2013 paid for initial repairs, and a further £13,000 in August last year was used to completely refurbish the premises.