On Thursday 30th September 2021, Hand In Hand Activities CIC hosted an afternoon tea event for 40 guests at Grays Road Institute, Grangefield from 12noon until 2pm with live pianist Trish McLean providing music to set the atmosphere. The event was made possible thanks to funding provided by the Asda Foundation and support from the Community Champion, Belinda Ellis. 

The weekend before the event, an order was placed via the Asda website for the food, drink and peripheral items required to help make the event a success. The sweet and savoury options were discussed and agreed in consultation with a group of 15 people with very different tastes in order to ensure the majority of guests varying tastes of food and drink would be catered for. On Wednesday, the shopping was collected from Asda, Portrack Lane, Stockton on Tees and prepared ready for the main event.

On Thursday morning, we made our way to Grays Road Institute to set the hall up and prepare the afternoon tea platters for the guests arriving. Alison, her mum Caroline, her sister Lize and her mum-in-law Karen were all on site to set the tables, set up the tombola stall and divide all of the food between the platters. While we were setting up the hall, Trish and her husband arrived to set up the electric piano and her kit. It sounded amazing!

The guests started to arrive just before 12 noon and the food platters were all ready and waiting on the table so that they could eat as soon as they felt like it. The guests circulated and chatted with each other, the HIHA team circulated with more food and hot drinks as cold drinks were available for guests to help themselves.

The tombola opened at 12:30pm and the prizes were all won by guests very quickly and raised £101 for HIHA CIC and Young At Heart ULO to continue running the Musical Memories Singing Circle for people living with dementia and their carers. Huge thanks to Caroline for taking the lead with the tombola and ensuring all prizes were won by guests.

We also held a free raffle for everyone who attended, raffling a flower box from Jill’s Flowers in Stockton. The flower box was won by Chris, a regular contributor to our Musical Memories Singing Circle programme – both in person and online.

At the end of the event, everyone was offered a cake box to take away any food they might want to take to enjoy later and reduce food waste. Most people took something away with them to enjoy later or even to pass on to family and neighbours.

Alison, on behalf of HIHA CIC, would like to extend heartfelt thanks first and foremost to Caroline, Lize, Karen, Trish and Tony of all of their hard work on the day and behind the scenes to help to make the event a huge success. Alison would also like to thank the team who, thanks to the help of WhatsApp chat groups, helped finalise the food selection for the event; the committee at Grays Road Institute for allowing the use of the kitchen and hall space again for this event; everyone who donated prizes for the tombola and everyone who attended the afternoon tea event because, without you, what we do wouldn’t be possible.

Here’s to the next one….


Lize Watson · October 5, 2021 at 8:31 am

Had a lovely time helping my sister Alison with her afternoon tea event and chatting with everyone who came along and they all said that they enjoyed it and the music was lovely in the background. Thank you to Alison for letting me help out and well done to Alison and our mam caroline and Karen who kept everyone topped up with tea, coffee and juices and food and hopefully they will be another one soon.

Joyce Beadnall · October 6, 2021 at 7:46 pm

The Musical Memories Afternoon Tea was a total success!
Trish’s varied music programme in the background set the scene perfectly.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the vast choice and amount of delicious food available!
Caroline, Lize and Karen never stopped serving drinks and extra food.
What a team!
All we had to do was eat, drink and chat-we felt so spoilt.

Elizabeth Foulger · October 19, 2021 at 10:21 pm

I was unable to attend the event as I was waiting on a call for completion of my house move. Thank You Alison and all as a couple of boxes arrived to save me trying to sort food out in amongst the move. This is the fellowship and friendship within these groups.

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