New club opens for older people in Newhaven

Maria Davey launched The Deans Senior Tea Club to replace the Friday Club.
Maria Davey launched The Deans Senior Tea Club to replace the Friday Club.

You may have said goodbye to Newhaven’s Friday Club but today you can say hello to The Deans Senior Tea Club.

Maria Davey was saddened to read in the Sussex Express of October 3 the club which provided opportunities for older people had to close.

Members had been meeting at Meeching Hall in South Road for about 40 years.

The decision was taken in September the club had to fold due to age and ill health of members.

However, Maria was so touched by the story she decided to launch The Deans Senior Tea Club today (Friday October 24) from 11am to 1pm.

Special guests will be at the event, including Newhaven mayor cllr Judith Ost.

“I was very moved when I read your article regarding the Friday Club closing in Newhaven even though there were still 25 seniors still attending,” Maria said.

“I’ve decided to start another Tea Club there again.

“I can’t bear to think about those club members who once relied and looked forward to seeing each other, now cannot.

“I already run two other Tea Clubs in Saltdean at St Nicholas Church Hall on a Friday from 2pm to 4pm and Telscombe Civic Center from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

“We have around 100 members.

“We are in the process of becoming a registered charity.

“I’ve been funding the clubs myself since the beginning in November 2013, although we now have some assistance from The House Project charity and a few other sponsors.

“Our aim is to try and combat loneliness in older age by creating a fun social place to meet, proving entertainment and demonstrations by local companies.

“We play games, chat, knit, organise trips and hold tea dances.

“But mostly we drink tea out of pretty vintage cups and saucers from a tea pot enjoying each others company.

“We offer free membership and happily accept donations to cover hall hire etc.

“We are all volunteers and transport can be arranged.”

The last meeting of the Friday Club was on September 26 from 1.45pm to 3.45pm.

Honorary treasurer Peggy Wingate said it was with great regret they had to close.

She thanked members and committee members for their hard work and support.

“Unfortunately, due to the ages and health of our members, it is no longer possible to continue our weekly meetings,” she said.

“The members have agreed that any remaining funds will be donated to local charities of their choosing.

These included Newhaven Lifeboat and the Marlets.