A WOMAN who regularly brings together elderly people to help tackle loneliness and isolation has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley Award.

Kathy Markwick runs the SuperJam Tea Party events, monthly tea dances held at the Holiday Inn, Dodworth.

The events give guests the chance to come along for a dance, enjoy sandwiches, tea and scones and socialise.

The SuperJam Tea Party is set to celebrate five years on Tuesday and has grown in size with more than 200 guests attending each month.

Kathy, who is part of Barnsley Rockley Rotary Club, said: “I never thought when I decided to leave HSBC five years ago that I would end up running the SuperJam Tea Parties.

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“As a member of Rotary, I have loved organising events ever since being introduced to the charity 30 years ago by my manager at HSBC.

“Five years ago I asked the three rotary clubs in Barnsley for £300 to host a free SuperJam Afternoon Tea Party for the elderly, lonely and socially isolated. We had 40 guests at the first event and the most we have had is 250.

“My favourite part of the event is seeing guests chatting, laughing, dancing and making friends.

“I also love to see those who are living with dementia enjoying themselves. They may not remember the event the next day but they undoubtedly enjoy the moment. The event certainly gives invaluable respite to many family members and carers.

“We have lots of lovely memories from the past five years and have made many friends. Sadly we have lost many guests over the years but it is heartwarming to know that we enhanced their lives with the tea party.”

There are different guests invited to the event each month, with regular attendees including members of Barnsley Rotary Club, the parents of MP Jo Cox: Jean and Gordon Leadbetter, and others.

One woman, Anne Eastwood, of Wombwell, has been coming along for around four years and brings members of her church with her.

“I started bringing an elderly lady with dementia who sadly died and now I have brought Mary, who also has dementia,” said Anne.

“It is a brilliant event, it’s the highlight of Mary’s month and she is usually the first one on the dancefloor. I try and encourage people to come and I think it is a great afternoon anyway.”