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Cash for seniors' dancing

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 19, 2013

Some of the attendees of the Sundance group.

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A PENZANCE community group has been awarded funding of more than £7,000.

The money for Sundance, which hosts weekly creative dance sessions for older people, came from the Health Lottery and was handed out by the People's Health Trust.

It will help fund classes for residents of Penzance, Pendeen and St Just in a bid to reduce the effects of loneliness.

Sundance's creative director Caroline Schanche said: "Isolation is a big problem in Penzance. It's one of the top areas in the country for premature deaths.

"Research shows that loneliness has a similar impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, yet many older residents have limited access to transport and become increasingly isolated.

"Our community has been lost to holiday homes, and deprivation here is overlooked because of the beauty of the area, so it's great to be able to provide this group for people who find it so valuable.

"This funding has been so helpful. We couldn't run without it, and to be able to reach more and more people as a result is fantastic."

One member of the group said: "The Sundance project improves my social life and self-confidence.

"I've participated in other activities I definitely wouldn't have seen myself doing before. It gives moments of connection and a focus for the week, as well as much-needed exercise for body and brain."

John Hume, chief executive of the People's Health Trust, said: "Isolation is a big problem for older people in Britain, so it's fantastic to see great ideas like Sundance's creative dance classes help bring communities together and create a better place to live."

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