Tonbridge Lions’ tea party treats 140 and tackles problem of loneliness

Tonbridge Lions' tea party treats 140 and tackles problem of loneliness

THE town’s Lions Club treated 140 elderly residents who live alone to afternoon tea and entertainment at Tonbridge Baptist Church on February 17.

The guests, who were transported to and from the venue, enjoyed a variety of entertainment including a performance of Pharrell Williams’ hit song Happy by the cast of the Tonbridge Community Pantomime.

They were also treated to performances by 10-year-old Hannah Packham, who sang Colours of the Wind from Disney’s Pocohontas, and Ken Packer who played clarinet.

Musical accompaniment was also provided by Mike Golding (guitar), Chris Coverly (keyboard), Alan Baker (guitar) and John Nye (drums).

CUP OF CHEER Mayor Roger Dalton pours tea for Gladys Tuxford with Lion President Gordon Hill

During the interval there were sandwiches and cakes made by the Lions members’ wives. The Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Cllr Roger Dalton, was on hand to pour a cup of tea for the eldest guest, 102-year-old Gladys Tuxford.

The issue of social isolation has been in the news following the appointment of local Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society, to head a government-wide group to tackle loneliness.

Neal Charlesworth, chairman of the organising committee, said: “Loneliness has recently become newsworthy but Tonbridge Lions Club has been holding this annual event as an antidote to isolation for over 40 years.

“It gives us all a great feeling seeing so many people enjoying themselves, ourselves included, and we are delighted that the afternoon went to plan.”

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