Nae Limits 60+ Association, supported by National Lottery funding, helps Mabel Robertson and dozens of others enjoy dancing, live music and companionship in later life.
Inspirational nonagenarian Mabel Robertson has explained how friendships forged through a Dundee dance group now feel more like family and have helped her cope with the loss of her cousin.
Supported by The National Lottery, Dundee-based Nae Limits provides live music dance events in the city for over-60s, like Mabel, on the last Friday of the month. Founded in 2014, the association’s aim is to improve the health and well-being of the elderly community by giving them an opportunity to enjoy dancing, other entertainment and interaction within their community which they wouldn’t otherwise experience.
Born and bred Dundonian Mabel, 92, was a regular with her cousin Maureen until she passed away suddenly in October 2018. Thanks to the strength of the Nae Limits community and the wide network of friendships she has developed over the years, Mabel has continued to attend the monthly events and described the power of the support she has received, in the latest video story telling the impact of National Lottery funding in the area.
Mabel said: “My first experience of Nae Limits was back in 2015 when I attended a show at Dudhope, the multicultural centre, as a spectator. They told us it was nostalgia but I didn’t really know what to expect – the fact there was 30s and 40s music suited us. The entertainment was brilliant.
“That started me being involved in Nae Limits, from then on my cousin and I went to as many of their dances as we could and we began to make a lot of new friends. I love live music and I love dancing, I know I’m on my own but I have so many activities that I’m never lonely.
“It’s always like one big party and everyone looks like they enjoy themselves. I look forward to it every month – there’s nothing like live music, that makes all the difference. It’s a place to look forward to.”
Sadly, Mabel’s cousin and dance partner Maureen died in October – however Mabel has managed to continue attending Nae Limits and says that everyone has helped her overcome her loss.
Mabel, whose favourite dance is the jive, continued: “When my cousin died last October it was very sudden – I do miss her terribly, we were more like sisters than cousins. It’s heartbreaking really. I miss her every day – it’s a big space in my life I will never fill.
“However, I’m not short of friends at Nae Limits and I know they miss Maureen as much as I do. I’ve got to know people by just coming to Nae Limits, you get to spread your friendship. That’s something I’m not short of – friends.”
Now Mabel, whose family all live in England, considers the Nae Limits community as an extended family of her own.
She added: “The work the committee put in is unbelievable. The effort put in to make people’s lives better is huge. Imagine having to live in a home, being on your own, not having family – when these people are involved in all the dances and entertainment it helps them. Maybe for that little while they don’t feel lonely.
“I’ve made so many more new friends here, people who would do anything for you to help you, anything. You need them, and they are there. Believe you me, when I lost my cousin their support meant a lot to me.
“This is like an extended family I’ve got at Nae Limits, because they are always there for you no matter what. It would make a difference in my life if I didn’t have them there.”
National Lottery funding was awarded in 2017 to enable the association to run events once a month to meet demand, to manage the funds required and keep ticket prices down.
Graham Dowson, chairman at Nae Limits 60+ Association, said: “Mabel is a true inspiration and it’s the pleasure in the faces of her and others like her when they’re up jiving or clambering to win a prize which makes it all worthwhile.
“National Lottery funding has helped bring a smile to older folks in Dundee and rekindled their zest for life and we’re all very thankful for that support.”
More than 7,500 National Lottery grants have been invested into arts, heritage, sport and community projects in Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth and Kinross since 1994.
To find out more about National Lottery Good Causes visit here, or follow #ThanksTayYou.