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Older woman at Barry lockdown party

The Tea Party That Nearly Didn’t Happen

Party Time for the Older People of Barry.

The older residents of Golau Caredig Independent Living in Barry were having a tough time of it during the lockdown. They had been kept safe and well looked after, but social shielding measures meant that they hadn’t been able to socialise for many months.

Action For Elders had been offering their Balanced Lives exercise and social programmes to residents online but had been unable to do anything in person. So, the residents were really looking forward to a special Action For Elders. ‘Afternoon Tea’ in Gladstone Park. This socially distanced event would be a great opportunity to catch up with each other, for a fun social event in the lush greenery of local Gladstone Park. The date was set for late August – and everyone was looking forward to a lovely outdoor event – but then, disaster struck…

Party resident talking

The Day That the Rains Came Down

Yes, disaster came in the form of some great British weather. The forecast was for heavy rain and 50mph winds, not the most conducive atmosphere for a ‘Tea Party’. Have you ever tried eating cakes and sandwiches in a gale-force wind? They can play havoc with welsh cakes and cream scones.

Lynne Phillips (Action For Elders Social Host – Barry Group) put in a call to Action For Elders Head Office to see what could be done: “I had to think quickly,” says Lynne. “So many people were looking forward to the event, I felt I just couldn’t let people down.”

It was suggested to move the event inside – and what better place than Golau Caredig – but would it be allowed due to the current measures?

It was just what we needed to lift the mood…
Resident

Golau Caredig

Lockdown party resident
Barry tea party smiling participant

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Socially Distanced Cakes and Chairs…

Miles Utting, Extra Care scheme Manager at Hafod, which runs Golau Caredig explained that many of the residents had just come out of shielding, so the timing for the event was perfect.

Lynne quickly got to work and spent a morning cooking welsh cakes, preparing scones, strawberries etc. This was to be Action For Elders first indoor event since lockdown and there was a lot of planning involved. “I had to put all the cakes in separate boxes to prevent people from being touchy-feely with the food.

“All the furniture in the room had be socially distanced,” said Lynne. “I wanted it to be a stress-free event, a time for people to come together after shielding.”

The event turned out to be a huge success, there was fun, laughter plus plenty of tea and cake. “Everything went so well; it was a joy for me to be amongst the residents. I’m so grateful that Miles allowed the event to go ahead,” said an exhausted Lynne at the end of the day.

For the people of Barry, a disaster had been averted and those in Golau Caredig Independent Living were able to enjoy some much needed quality, social time.

“It was just what we needed to lift the mood here,” said one happy resident.

Participants in Socially distanced lockdown party at Barry

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