The Cat’s Whiskers Tea Dance Company brightens the hearts and minds of those in care homes across the UK. The Cat’s Whiskers (named after the popular 1920s phase meaning ‘the bees knees’) provides engaging, specialist entertainment with a combination of familiar ‘feel good’ songs and afternoon tea as the group reminiscences for an unforgettable afternoon. Pocket Robin shares a cuppa tea with the lovely Harriet Pocock, Founder of The Cat’s Whiskers, to learn more about this philanthropic company.
“What you do makes us feel young again, it shows us that people do care.” Vera, a Resident in Kenysham
After several years working closely with people suffering from a variety of mental and physical illnesses, Harriet was in something of a unique position. Holding both a degree in Performing Arts and hands-on experience working with the elderly, she recognised the importance of music and memories amongst the older generation. This coupled with a distinct lack of high quality, appropriate entertainment for people in care homes inspired the creation of The Cat’s Whiskers Tea Dance Company.
The Cat’s Whiskers currently boasts four different shows; ‘Tea with Marilyn’, ‘Tea with Love’, ‘Tea with Her Majesty’ and ‘Tea with Vera’. Each show aims to capture the traditional magic and community spirit of the tea dance and welcomes participation from staff and families. The Cat’s Whiskers’ entertainers lead and encourage the audience to join in; dancing, singing and sharing memories from beginning to end.
“You bring such light to our lives.” Resident at Shockerwick House
During the interval, The Cat’s Whiskers staff serve up a special afternoon tea in beautiful vintage china, complete with cake stands and teapots. What sets The Cat’s Whiskers apart is that it is a truly a social occasion, where the tea party theme acts as a stimulus for conversation; evoking memories and nostalgia from the past.
“It’s taken me back to being a young boy during the war in London.” Resident from Bristol
The Cat’s Whiskers has created a space for residents to open up and share their memories, often for the very first time. Sadly modern society often ignores the elderly and yet they have such wonderfully rich tales of the past and wise words to share.
“Kiss your partner when you leave the house, when you get home, even in the middle of dinner. Give them a good long kiss. Because one day you will be old and no one will want to kiss you anymore!” Resident from Bath
The Cat’s Whiskers network is currently expanding with entertainers Rebecca and Olivia; Harriet plans to franchise the company in a years’ time and roll out nationwide in order to brighten as many lives as possible.
Pocket Robin wishes The Cat’s Whiskers the very best of luck. To find out more about this fantastic company and its many other community initiatives, visit: www.catswhiskersteadance.co.uk