Chairman Caroline cha-cha-Chugg dances for health

The Chairman of Devon County Council, Caroline Chugg ballroom dancing at Jim's Candlelight Dance in Exeter.

Posted on: 29 April 2019

Thoughts from the Chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr Caroline Chugg.

“During my year as Chairman of Devon County Council, my aim has been to support events and activities that promote ‘ageing well’.

“Devon, with all of its natural beauty, is also home to an older demographic of residents than most counties, and with that comes its challenges.  A challenge for each of us individually who have ageing friends, neighbours and family; a challenge for local authorities in providing support where it’s most needed; and a challenge for local communities in wanting to maximise opportunities for its residents, in order that people are able to live as full and active lives as possible.

“With this in mind, what I have enjoyed most in my year so far as Chair is meeting the community groups, the people who make things happen; seeing the many events taking place regularly in villages and towns that are helping people to enjoy life, to be active as possible and to have friendship groups.

“Last week I was in Exeter. I joined the throngs who flock to Jim’s fortnightly Candlenight Dances at the Corn Exchange on Saturday. It’s a chance for people, whether they consider themselves dancers or not, to go along and have fun.

“It’s exercise, of course. It helps keep attendees active, and that’s reason enough to applaud it.  But as importantly, it’s companionship.  It’s socialising.  It’s being part of something.  An experience shared.  And these are also all very good reasons to applaud it.

“We read about mental illness and how it affects young and old.  And we read about loneliness, which also does not discriminate.   And I believe an awful lot must be said for the enormous benefit that activities, like Jim’s, bring to people’s health and wellbeing.

“This year, I’ve made it my own personal goal to do what I can to shine a light on communities, and the power of communities to make tangible difference to people’s quality of life. It’s taken me from North to South of the county where I’ve seen many examples of this making a very real difference to people’s lives.

“At the same time, the County Council is continuing to do all it can to support people of all ages and abilities to be as independent as possible and to live as full and active lives as possible.

“We recently celebrated many amazing and inspiring women from Devon, on International Women’s Day, who have done and are doing brilliant things for people in Devon.

“I’d like to also take a moment now to also applaud the many community groups and events, and the people behind those events, who work hard to provide others opportunities to be part of their community.

“Not only would our communities be all the duller without them, but my feeling is that a great many people would be experiencing health problems or loneliness and isolation were it not be for such groups and opportunities that people hold so dear.

“I, along with many, greatly enjoyed Saturday’s dance in Exeter.  I believe we must endeavour to ensure communities have access to facilities which provide great opportunities to support and encourage dancing and other social activities as real life changers.”

The Chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr Caroline Chugg, attended the Candlenight Dance at the Corn Exchance, Exeter.

Also attending were representatives from the Alzheimer’s Society; Devon’s Memory Café Consortium; and Westbank League of Friends.

To find out more about community groups in your local area, visit the community services directory, Pinpoint Devon.

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Posted in: DCC Homepage