22nd February 2010
Jitterbugs wins lottery funding to expand its successful tea dances for the community of Bath & North East Somerset.

Bath and North East Somerset can now look forward to a weekly tea dance afternoon thanks to an Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Jitterbugs Lottery Success
Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst, Joanna Kucia Director of Bath International Dance Festival, Raymond Jones, Jitterbugs attendee, and Harriet Bosnell, Older Persons' Housing & Support Manager of Somer Community Housing Trust

Somer Community Housing Trust successfully bid for the money with the support of Bath International Dance Festival and Morgan-Brinkhurst Consultancy, after a Tuesday morning pilot project in Twerton proved hugely popular. The award of 7,260 will fund thirteen new ‘Jitterbugs’ sessions, open to all, which will be held at Bath Pavilion from Monday 8th March.

The successful dance sessions have been taking place on a Tuesday morning at Carrswood Community Day Service supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council and regularly attracts up to 40 people. The funding will allow these sessions to continue, alongside the new Pavilion events:

Carrswood Tuesday morning tea dance
Carrswood Tuesday morning tea dance

James Whitehead of Bath International Dance Festival said “Dance is a highly topical and enjoyable pastime, which also offers significant health and social benefits to people of all ages. Through Jitterbugs we can improve their physical and emotional well-being. We are grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for their support, which will help us reach out to the wider community”

“It is well known and strongly supported by scientific evidence that movement and dance have positive effects for all generations, and particularly for older members of the community this is a more enjoyable way to exercise”

Harriet Bosnell, Older Persons’ Housing and Support Manager at Somer Community Housing Trust, said:

“We believe passionately in creating strong and vibrant communities, so we are delighted the Big Lottery Fund is helping us to deliver dance sessions to older and disabled people in and around Bath. We have already seen how these fun, social events help people to make new friends and builds a sense of warmth and community.’

With professional dance instructors on hand, participants can get involved at any level whatever their ability – some people even dance in their chairs. It is also an opportunity to meet new people, enjoy the music and have some fun.

Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst said “ The lottery success is also enabling us to provide affordable transport for people across the Bath & North East Somerset area. My team and I will arrange transport for people who are unable to get to the Pavilion tea dances”

Jitterbugs gets underway at the Pavilion from Monday, 8th March and will run every week, excluding bank holidays. Anyone is welcome to simply come along and drop in, or for more information and to find out about transport, they can call 01225 823004.

The sessions will take place as follows:

• Pavilion, Bath: every Monday from the 8th March (except bank holidays) 2.30–4pm - 2 a session
• Carrswood Day Service, Twerton, Bath every Tuesday, 10.15–11.45am – 1 a session
NB: Please bring change as tea/coffee/biscuits/cakes will be available.


The Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme aims to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. You can apply to Awards for All only if you are a community group, not-for-profit group, parish or town council, health body, or school. Grants ranging from 300 to 10,000 are available to fund a specific project or activity. The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

Somer Community Housing Trust is a social landlord providing 9,700 affordable rented homes. Based in Bath, it owns homes across Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire, and the Bristol area. The charity has an active social housing development programme and provides housing support to help older people live independent lives, funded through the supporting people grant. Somer has an investment programme in excess of 10million a year. The Trust is a member of Somer Housing Group.


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