Is this the end for Driffield Old Folks Tea?

Tea without sympathy?

Tea without sympathy?

The organisers of Driffield Old Folks Tea have called for the next generation to step up to the plate and join the committee before the event stops altogether.

Residents of Driffield and Little Driffield over the age of 70, attended the annual event, which is now in its 68th year, on Saturday in the West Building at Driffield School and Sixth Form.

But of the 300 people invited only 180 turned up to enjoy the meal – leaving the aging Driffield Old Folks Tea and Entertainments Committee wondering whether to call it a day.

Committee member Alan Cousins, of St John’s Road, Driffield, who has been helping to organise the event for 29 years, said: “We were way down on other years, we’d normally have well over 200 people but so many other organisations had day trips on the same day.

“All the effort, work and fundraising that goes into it and we’re just wondering if it is still worth the effort.

“It’s being going for a long time. Is it losing its appeal? I think so.” Transport to the event is provided by Driffield Lions but Mr Cousins also spoke of those who commit to attending the event, arrange transport and cancel at the last minute.

He added: “Then there are those who say they will come and we arrange transport for them then they say they don’t want it, that involves the Lions and we don’t want to waste their time.”

However, there is a glimmer of hope for those who want the annual event to 
continue – providing a younger committee steps up.

Mr Cousins said: “We need some younger people to join the committee, that is what would guarantee it would keep going.”

The Driffield Old Folks Tea and Entertainment Committee currently consists of seven members all aged between 68 and 77.

“We should be sitting down to enjoy the party, not organising it,” Mr Cousins added.

Volunteers of all ages help to prepare for the event, from folding napkins to carrying tables and serving food - this year a number of younger volunteers showed an interest in taking on more responsibility.

Mr Cousins said: “This year we had a couple of younger people who volunteered to help and they were interested in joining the committee, a few more and it could guarantee that it would carry on.”

Driffield Mayor, Coun Heather Venter helped out at the Old Folks Tea for the first time this year and has announced she intends to join the committee following her year as mayor.

Coun Venter said: “I was very impressed, I think it’s marvellous.

“As soon as I’ve finished my year as mayor I will be joining the committee.”

Coun Venter praised the efforts of the organisers who work tirelessly to ensure the day is a success, adding: “I was so impressed by the amount of work that goes into it, they deserve all the praise they get. It’s absolutely lovely the spread they put on, for some of the people who go it is a highlight of Christmas. We mustn’t lose it.”

“The tidy team go up there and help out, councillors Joan and Tony Copper are involved with it and Alan and the committee have been doing it for year, for people like them to give up there time to do what they do for people is marvellous.”

The Mayor also warned Driffield residents to make the most of the event or lose it.

Coun Venter said: “It was disheartening to find out that people say they will come and they arrange lifts for them and they just don’t answer their doors or say they’re not coming. People must use these things or we will lose them.”

If you are interested in joining the Driffield Old Folks Tea and Entertainment Committee please call Alan Cousins on 01377 240710




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