Elderberries celebrate 20 years

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A social club for the over 60s based in Newthorpe is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week. More than 60 members of the Elderberries Club attended a tea dance and party at Greasley Parish Hall in Newthorpe, where members met for the first time back in September 1996. The Elderberries Club was the brainchild of Doreen Cliff, Millie Thompson and Albert and Kathleen Birkin. See left for more.

Mrs Thompson and Mr and Mrs Birkin recalled that ‘back in the day’ more than 100 people attended, sharing in programmes of fun-filled activities arranged to meet the needs of elderly, lonely, disadvantaged and isolated people within the local community. Mr Birkin said: “Not much has changed in 20 years, we have more than 80 members enrolled and community spirit, enriched with fun, friendship and caring for each other is still very much part of our recipe for success. The club has a varied programme which includes monthly dance sessions, guest speakers, bingo and quizzes.”

Millie Thompson is the club’s oldest member at the age of 94, who, despite hearing and mobility problems still regards The Elderberries as her “second family”. She said: “It is a brilliant social club run by a dedicated committee whose main priority and objective is to meet the needs of its members.”

Mr.Birkin, his wife Kathleen, Dennis and Janet Froggatt and Brian and Beryl Hickling make up the Elderberries committee team, which plays an integral part in the social club’s success. The 20th anniversary tea party was enriched with dance sessions, games of bingo, entertainment provided by singer/pianist Ken Rhodes, and a grand raffle with more than 30 prizes up for grabs.

New members are invited to join the Elderberries, who meet on Fridays between 2pm and 4pm in the sports hall on Dovecote Road, Newthorpe. For further details contact Albert Birkin on 01773 788020.