Success of project to combat loneliness and bring people together is music to the ears of its Burnley founder

Natter Shack scheme founder Tracey Smith is holding a traditional Sunday afternoon tea dance as part of the successful project.
Natter Shack scheme founder Tracey Smith is holding a traditional Sunday afternoon tea dance as part of the successful project.

The success of a pioneering scheme, to banish the stigma of loneliness and bring people together, has inspired the woman behind it to try a new arm to the project.

Burnley woman Tracey Smith is so thrilled with the success of the Natter Shack, a series of weekly events in coffee bars, pubs and cafes to bring people together, she has decided to hold a Sunday afternoon tea dance.

And if it proves to be popular, Tracey hopes it will be held on a monthly basis.

Running from 2pm to 4pm at the Kestrel Suite in Burnley on Sunday, September 1st , the special guest is Dapper Dan from Padiham on Parade, who will provide the music which will include big band sounds, waltz, foxtrot and swing.

The Natter Shack scheme was born when an elderly stranger struck up a conversation with Tracey while she was out for lunch with her daughter one day in Barrowford.

Tracey, who is deputy manager at the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust telephone booking centre, could tell the lady wanted to talk to someone and they chatted for ages and were joined by another lady.

When Tracey found out they both went in there on a regular basis but just sat on their own she started thinking about how many other retired or single people may be out there who may love a bit of company over lunch or just coffee.

She posted the idea on facebook and was inundated with responses from venues across Burnley and Pendle wanting to join the scheme. Fifteen venues are now signed up to host the Natter Shack scheme which is aimed at people of all ages.

Tickets for the tea dance are £2 and available to buy at Mooch Café, Padiham, The Pavillion , Alkincoats Park, Colne or The Village Shop, Church Square, Worsthorne, The Commercial, Harle Syke or contact Tracey via The Natter Shack Facebook page or at nattershack@yahoo.com or 07868734257.