Every year we host a free tea dance for 1,000 Westminster residents aged 65 and over amid the glamorous setting of the iconic Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, in partnership with the Sir Simon Milton Foundation.
This year's annual Tea Dance will take place on Sunday 9 December at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
Guests enjoyed a full afternoon tea and live music from Tea Dance regulars, the Red Stripe Band. Entertainment was provided by soprano singer Lauren Lodge-Campbell, children from Danceworks International Ballet Academy gave a performance from the Nutcracker and local resident Rashmi Becker performed with her dance partner Nuno Sabroso. There was also a special appearance from members of local charity, Open Age, who performed a Latin and Ballroom medley - their first ever performance through Step Change Studios.
Local resident, 102-year-old Peggy was presented with a Christmas hamper kindly donated by Fortnum & Mason in celebration of being the oldest guest at the event.
The Westminster Tea Dance is a free event designed to help tackle loneliness in the city. Last year, over half the guests said they don’t get out of the house as often as they would like with 97% saying they met new people as a result of the event.
Guest comments included: “It takes years off me to have the opportunity to dance and enjoy company”, “I would be on my own if not for this treat”, “I enjoy the company and meeting new friends, it takes away stress and anxiety” and “I enjoy it so much I feel 10 years younger”.
Many local charities and voluntary organisations support the event by bringing along local residents including Carers Network, One Westminster’s Befriending Plus, Westminster care homes, Open Age and Age UK Westminster. The Team Westminster Ambassadors and Volunteer Police Cadets from Westminster, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge volunteer at the event alongside council staff.
The Westminster Tea Dance is hosted by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation and supported by Westminster City Council. The event would not be possible without our sponsors Grosvenor House Hotel, Shaftesbury PLC and the Telegraph Group. Tickets are printed free of charge courtesy of Ricoh.
Take a look at this year’s event in our video:
Ticket applications open in the summer and will be advertised in Westminster Plus magazine, our free magazine for people aged 65 and over living in Westminster. If more than 1,000 people apply, tickets are allocated in a prize draw. This year, everyone who applied for a ticket received one. We also allocate tickets to our partners to help reach people who may most benefit from the event.
For more information about free and low-cost events and activities for older people in Westminster throughout the year, contact your local Community Hub.
Write to Sonja Parfrey, Tea Dance, Sir Simon Milton Foundation, 6th Floor, 5 Strand, London, WC2N 5HR.