Here at Community Gateway, we love to support local groups who really make a difference in our communities. One such group is ‘The Glees’ who celebrated their 50th birthday recently!
The group was originally founded in September 1973 by a couple of ladies who attended the same church. They started with six members and since then have gone from strength to strength. Even now, original member Teresa still attends regularly.
Pat Varty took over the group back in 2013 after her mum, who had been the group’s Chairperson, sadly passed away. Pat credits her mum with bringing the group back to life, helping them secure grants that enabled them to introduce trips, parties and other activities. At that time, they had 11 members and Pat made the promise to her mum that she would look after the group.
The group currently has approximately 20 members all of whom are Community Gateway tenants. We have been able to support them through successful bids to our Community Fund to support them delivering activities that help to reduce social isolation.
We asked Pat how The Glees got its cheery name, she told us: “One member, Eileen, said ‘I love this group it fills me with glee!’ and the rest is history.”
Pat went on to say: “The main aim of the group is for everyone to be one big, happy, extended family. We respect each other, make each other laugh and smile even on the gloomiest day. We love seeing our friends every week. It would be my dream to see a ‘Glees’ group in every Preston community.”
Anybody over 60 is welcome to go along and have a game of bingo, make new friends, and break up a day that sometimes can be long. The group can really help with feelings of isolation if that person doesn’t get out in the community. They go out for lunch and out on trips, go to shows – The Glees offers something for everyone!
To find out more about our Community Fund, click here.