Summer of Creativity: 93-year-old Violet returns to line dancing at Oldham Leisure Centre!

Date published: 25 June 2021

As part of our “Summer of Creativity” with Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre and Oldham Council, we’re celebrate everything creative about Oldham.  And we’re sharing stories of how ideas and inspiration have helped change lives.

Violet Walpole, who turned 93 in September and suffered a recent fall, has shown swift resolve as she has now returned to her weekly line dancing class at Oldham Leisure Centre.

The inspirational granny and former ‘cotton mill girl’, who lives in Middleton, visits the leisure centre weekly with her daughter-in-law and has been attending the line dancing classes run by Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) for around six years.

Violet said: “Being back at my beloved line dancing class feels like I’ve been given a million pounds.

"It’s absolutely wonderful to return. It makes me so happy.

"I’ve missed these classes so much during lockdown.

"I love everything about them – the music, the dance routines and of course all my wonderful friends and the OCL staff.”

Violet had a fall recently whilst at church, when someone accidentally knocked her over as they lost their footing.

She said: “I have been feeling a little nervous after my accident, and obviously fearful of falling again.

"But I was still keen to get back to what I love.”

Rachel Holloway, the OCL line dancing instructor, said: “It was fantastic to see Violet’s happy face again.

"I suggested that to being with she simply step out the dance routines whilst seated, to build up her confidence, and then join in with some of the easier dances over the next few weeks, once she’s feeling more confident on her feet again.

"This way she still gets to experience the music and learn the steps, without putting her at risk.”

Stuart Lockwood, Chief Executive at OCL, added: “We were absolutely delighted to welcome Violet back to the classes.

"She’s such an upbeat, positive and inspirational woman.

"Nothing would keep Violet away from the line dancing classes that she adores.

"We should all try and be a bit more like Violet!”

Violet said: “I tried to keep active during lockdown, and went out walking – but it wasn’t the same, and it was quite lonely.

"I feel really safe being back at Oldham Leisure Centre, everything is really well organised and all the staff are so kind and friendly.”

Mr Lockwood added: “Age or physical ability isn’t a barrier to wellness.

"The team at OCL pride themselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all.

"We have classes and actives suitable for everyone, whatever their age, background or ability.

"We understand that each of our customers have individual fitness requirements and goals and our team of experts are here to help, guide and support you.”

Share your stories of creativity here.  Big or small, we want to share your ideas, your success, and your inspiration for others in our town.  You could also be a part of our exhibition at Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre at the end of the summer.

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