Free afternoon tea unites Sheffield’s elderly and lonely

Moor Market Tea Party in Sheffield hosted by Sharon's Cafe
Sharon sharea joke with Maggie Hardy and Aileen McAssey
Picture Dean Atkins
Moor Market Tea Party in Sheffield hosted by Sharon's Cafe Sharon sharea joke with Maggie Hardy and Aileen McAssey Picture Dean Atkins
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A free afternoon tea party united Sheffield’s elderly, lonely and isolated - as well as bringing ‘life’ to the city’s Moor Market.

Shoppers sang along to Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra classics, dined on delicious scones and even tried their hand at line dancing at the event.

Moor Market Tea Party in Sheffield hosted by Sharon's Cafe
Picture Dean Atkins

Moor Market Tea Party in Sheffield hosted by Sharon's Cafe Picture Dean Atkins

Organiser Sandra Barley, centre liason manager for The Moor Sheffield, said: “We were so thrilled with how it all came together.

“The Moor Market graciously offered to give us a home for the day and Sharon’s Cafe did all the catering. In the end we had about 30 people come along and it really put life into the building.”

Sandra organised the event in conjunction with Home Instead Senior Care Sheffield, which hosts regular free tea parties around the region.

“This is really something we should all be doing more of, and that’s so clear to me after seeing the pleasure it brought to the people who attended,” added Sandra.

Moor Market Tea Party in Sheffield hosted by Sharon's Cafe
Sharon sharea joke with Maggie Hardy and Aileen McAssey
Picture Dean Atkins

Moor Market Tea Party in Sheffield hosted by Sharon's Cafe Sharon sharea joke with Maggie Hardy and Aileen McAssey Picture Dean Atkins

“Many of these people live alone, meaning they spend a great deal of their time alone, and so an event like this can make all the difference. One lovely gentleman told us he couldn’t thank us enough and that he felt like he’d been on his holidays for the day. It’s so heartwarming to hear that.

“The market seemed like an ideal place to pull off a big social event like this. After all, back in the old days, market places were where people congregated and met up. There is a community of lonely and isolated people in the city and we really hope to create a home for them here. It’s our intention to hold one of these free afternoon teas on the last Thursday of every month.

“It’s great for the people who come and enjoy the day, and it’s also great for the market and the traders and it creates such a lovely atmosphere. We had lots of people stopping by to say hello and lots of traders popping over for a chat. It was beautiful.”