Lotto cash to pay for OAPs’ ‘posh’ parties

The Tuesday Club
The Tuesday Club

OAPs in Crawley are being treated to ten weeks of posh parties thanks to a £9,700 National Lottery grant.

Annette Bowden, from Wakehurst Drive, Southgate, applied for the grant when she decided she wanted to spoil her mum, Irene Casson, an OAP from Southgate Drive, and her friends, with an event that would make them feel ‘posh’ and special.

With the help of her brother, Simon Casson, from London, and a friend, Annette created a social action group called The Tuesday Club and they applied for a Big Lottery Fund in August this year.

She said: “We’d put on tea afternoons for mum and her friends before and when you do something like that you don’t realise what reaction you’re going to get. They loved it .

“So I thought I could make this a bit more special so they can put on what they call their ‘posh’ clothes that they say they don’t get to wear any more.”

The trio found out they had won the grant in September and the first ritzy vintage tea party took place last Tuesday (December 11).

Guests were treated to cream tea, sandwiches, a salon, raffle and a cabaret act, all for an entry free of just £2.

A theatre designer was even commissioned to make the set and lifts for less mobile guests were provided.

“It was fantastic,” Annette said. “They loved the cabaret act, she was hilarious.

“Two ladies came on their own and they ended up sitting together and hopefully a lot of friendships will come from it because a lot of elderly people are isolated.

“My two daughters and my husband helped so it brought the whole family together.”

The second meeting on Tuesday (December 18) had a Christmas theme.

The club, which can cater for 40 elderly Crawley residents and their guests, will take place on Tuesdays from midday until 4pm at St Mary’s Church Hall, Southgate, until the end of February 2013.

Anyone wishing to attend the club can book tickets by calling 01293 451056.