MORE than 130 people attended a festive tea dance to tackle social isolation in Scotland.

Dumfries House hosted the event as part of an initiative run by The Prince’s Foundation.

Tea dances are held in the Palladian country house’s pavilion every three weeks in collaboration with East Ayrshire Council’s Vibrant Communities service as part of The Prince’s Foundation’s Integrated Health and Wellbeing programme. People at risk of social isolation and loneliness are invited to attend the events free of charge, during which they enjoy afternoon tea, live entertainment and the opportunity to socialise with others. Guests include members of the East Ayrshire community, from Stewarton in the north to Dalmellington in the south, including elderly people, those with additional support needs, and carers.

Tricia Harkness of East Ayrshire Council said: “They get a lot out of it, being able to get out and socialise, getting out and meeting people, some who they went to school with 60-70 years ago. Because Dumfries House is such a special location, it makes them feel special. You hear the buzz and the chat.

They love getting their dance, the music, and the food here, especially the strawberry tarts.We had a wee lady a couple of months ago who hadn’t been out her house in Muirkirk in two years and she said she didn’t sleep all night before the tea dance because she was so excited.”


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