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Nostalgic performance ‘reconnects’ Staffordshire residents 

Over 55s living in Stafford and South Staffordshire were recently given the chance to step back in time to the 1940s, thanks to a vintage concert organised as part of a successful initiative that’s supporting older people to live more active lives. 

Through our ReConnected service, Care Plus invited guests to enjoy a free cream tea at The Northfields Centre in Stafford, where they also enjoyed listening to live music from vintage harmony duo Bluebird Belles. 

Supported by the National Lottery Community Fund, ReConnected provides free activities, social events and advice for people aged 55 and over in Stafford Borough and South Staffordshire. 

Lisa Fisher, ReConnected project coordinator at Care Plus, said: “The event proved a great success, and we were thrilled to welcome guests from across the area who thoroughly enjoyed the performance by two very talented artists. 

Guests sang and danced along to classics including When You’re Smiling, Puttin’ On The Ritz and All Shook Up. 

“This is just one of a series of social events that ReConnected is organising this year, which have been designed to help tackle isolation among older people in the communities we serve. 

“We are delighted that the Bluebird Belles will be returning for another free live show in Stone this week.” 

Dubbed ‘the best thing since The Andrews Sisters’, The Bluebird Belles are a professional 1940s and vintage vocal harmony duo, and they certainly proved a hit with those attending the Stafford show. 

Royal Air Force veteran, Keith, commented: “My children told me about the event and said I should go, as it’s not good for me to be alone.  

“I have been really looking forward to it, as I like being sung to, and it’s been great to see so many people here.” 

ReConnected members Eileen, Avril and Sheila also attended the free show. Eileen said: “The ReConnected events are brilliant. They help people who are perhaps on their own to get together and meet different people. 

“We do a lot of social get-togethers. We meet up for a drink and a chat, or there are quizzes and art and crafts. But the performance today feels very special following on from the 80th anniversary of the D Day landings. 

“We would encourage other people to come along to the ReConnected events. Everyone’s very welcoming, and the organisers and volunteers are wonderful. They look after us.” 

The Bluebird Belles will be returning for another free ReConnected event at St Dominics Social Club in Stone on Friday, July 5, from 2pm to 4pm. Exclusively for people aged 55 and over, in Stafford and South Staffordshire, the afternoon will even include a free cream tea for everyone who attends. 

Bluebird Belles member, Beth, said: “We absolutely love performing at events like these because they bring a sense of nostalgia and joy to both the audience and us as performers. There’s something incredibly special about performing classics from the 40s and 50s, and seeing people connect with the music, some of whom first heard these songs when they were originally released.  

“The inspiration to form the Bluebird Belles came from a love of vintage music, fashion, and vocal harmony, and a desire to celebrate and preserve our history. We wanted to create an experience that transports audiences back in time, evoking the charm and elegance of a bygone era.” 

To learn more about the ReConnected service and discover what’s on in your area, go to www.care-plus.org.uk/ReConnected.