‘Strictly Come Volunteering’ – 120 Volunteers celebrate 20 years of BEA

Staff from Bramley Elderly Action and Older Wiser Local Seniors (OWLS), with students from Leeds Metropolitan University Accommodation and Residences Team, recently held their annual volunteer party at the Great Hall on Headingley Campus. This year was extra-special, as it marks the 20th anniversary of Bramley Elderly Action supporting local older people with several of their volunteers completing 20 years service.

Over thirty Leeds Metropolitan students who all live in the Leeds Met Residences volunteered and Frances Field, a member of the Accommodation and Residences Team, organised the event. The student volunteers were crucial in making this year’s volunteer party one of the best yet.  All the volunteers were treated to a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ themed evening, with student volunteers and Bramley Elderly Action and OWLS volunteers pairing up to enter the tongue-in-cheek contest. The students paired up with the older generation and much fun was had on the dance floor. Three rounds were completed, Waltz, Foxtrot and Rumba with each round being introduced and presented by professional dancers Paul Harris (aged 80) and his partner Pam Sheen (aged 71). Bill and Pamela took part in the Champions of Tomorrow competition in January at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool and swooped 2 x 3rd places and 2 x 4th places. Bill’s advice on the night was ‘move in time to the music and enjoy yourself!’. Congratulations must go to Maureen Morant and her student partner, Rachel, who won the glitter cup trophy!

Lee Ingham, Manager of Bramley Elderly Action, said:

‘The entire event has been amazing from start to finish. This is a fantastic example of community cohesion, generations together, and a showcase for volunteering. Younger student volunteers are giving their time to help local charities provide a thank you event for over 100 local volunteers, many of whom are older people living in the Headingley, Bramley and Burley areas.’

Since its launch in 1994 Bramley Elderly Action has put on over 10,000 activities, responded to around 15,000 requests, carried out over 4,000 home visits, made over 100,000 return transport journeys and attracted almost £3 million in funding. None of this would be possible without the dedicated support of about 500 volunteers over the period.

The staff and volunteers at Bramley Elderly Action and OWLS work hard all year round to ensure that the older members of the community get the most out of life.

If you are interested in joining Bramley Elderly Action or OWLS as a member or a volunteer, please contact Bramley Elderly Action on 0113 236 1644.

Bramley Elderly Action (BEA) is an independent charity which provides opportunities and support for older people, aged 60 and over, in Bramley, Swinnow and parts of Stanningley. The organisation has about about 1,100 members and about 150 volunteers, ranging in age from 18-97! OWLS supports older people in Burley, Hyde Park, Little Woodhouse, Headingley and parts of Kirkstall.        

For more information

Zoe Ricketts – Volunteer Coordinator, Bramley Elderly Action – zoe.ricketts@bramleyea.org – 0113 236 1644

Note to editors

  • The event was held on Tuesday 11th February 2014
  • Bramley Elderly Action was founded in 1994
  • It is one of 37 independent Neighbourhood Network Schemes for older people in Leeds
  • OWLS is managed by Bramley Elderly Action