We run monthly Tea and Tales sessions at our Levin and Foxton libraries as well as a session at a local memory care unit.
Our Levin session is humming along wonderfully with approximately 10-14 per session. Most of these people have been regulars for quite a while and often bring stories and poetry to share with us. Some share their own writings and snippets of memoirs which often gets a few tears. Foxton is smaller with about 4-6 usually but much the same feel.
The memory care session is amazing, this varies everytime depending on the feel of the residents on the day. We’ve had a man in his 90s recite poetry from his childhood and also share songs. There’s nothing sweeter than a elderly Irishman cracking out Danny Boy on a Wednesday afternoon!
No barriers really, I took over an existing program around 2.5 years ago in Levin and my first session had one person attending, but it has slowly but surely grown. A big effort in marketing this has helped.
I certainly think read to lead put a fire in my belly for these groups. My confidence has grown in facilitating them which has helped me to believe in myself when delivering other presentations to staff and to community groups.