For the very first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, Barnet Homes’ Sheltered Housing tenants burst back onto the social scene with an afternoon of song and dance at Finchley’s St Mary’s Church Hall.

Barnet Homes’ Sheltered Housing accommodates senior independent residents, many of whom relished the opportunity to come out of pandemic hiatus to attend the annual summer tea party with fellow community members.

Around 100 attendees enjoyed sandwiches, cakes, and beverages. The event featured an open dancefloor as well as a reasonable stock of raffle prizes, snatched up by lucky winners.

Attendees enjoyed catching up over sandwiches, cakes, and beverages.

Opportunity to meet new people

Crooner Mickie Driver led the fun-filled event.

The soiree was led by crooner Mickie Driver, who brought the crowd to their feet in his energetic style. From infectious hits like La Bamba and Rivers of Babylon to chart-topping Elvis classics, music blasted from the loudspeaker.

Sheltered Homes resident Jenny admitted to being pleasantly surprised by the afternoon’s liveliness, confessing, “When I first arrived, I thought ‘oh my gosh!’

“I’d have never come to one of these events, but I live next door to Anne [a fellow resident] who pulled me along.

“She’s a neighbour, and if weren’t for her I wouldn’t be meeting all these people. I love music, I love dancing, and I love singing!”

A word from the mayor

Before joining the dancing frenzy, the Mayor of Barnet Nagus Narenthira expressed her approval with the post-Covid gathering, remarking, “Even after Covid, I didn’t think that something like this would be happening. But it’s good that we can finally meet up more often and socialise.

I want to give a big thank you to Barnet Homes for successfully organising this event.”

Several Sheltered Housing residents also had positive words to share. “This is my first time at the Tea Dance, and it’s fantastic! I enjoyed having a little dance. I’ll be back next summer,” said Arthur. While Sam, a fellow resident said, “Since I lost my wife recently, I haven’t been out to any social events. I was feeling anxious about coming to this party, but as soon I arrived, I felt relaxed and welcomed.”

Barnet Homes’ CEO Tim Mulvenna shares a photo with the Mayor of Barnet Nagus Narenthira.

Seventy-six-year-old John also enjoyed the social atmosphere, adding, “I’ve come here with my neighbour Connie. Whenever we come to the tea dance we make new friends.”

Feeding the crowds

Barnet Homes’ Sheltered Housing team members described being “up at the crack of dawn” to prepare hundreds of fresh sandwiches for the crowd.

The food went down well, with trays of freshly cut triangles and sweet treats being run from the kitchen to busy tables.

What’s next for Sheltered Housing? Having rekindled social camaraderie, the question on everyone’s lips is: what’s in store for the next social event? Stay tuned as Barnet Homes continues to throw post-pandemic celebrations and social events for its tenants.

Residents and staff form a conga line on the open dance floor.