Spotlight on Shoreditch Town Hall

Published on Sep 20, 2022

Aim of organisation

Shoreditch Town Hall is housed in one of the grandest vestry halls of it’s time, which opened in 1866. The building now is an arts, events and community space. All year-round it hosts cultural programmes including new theatre, music, and dance. It also hosts 200 live event hires every year.

Money Received from Community Pot


Name of Project

Tea Dances/ Swing Into Spring (Intergenerational Hackney Focused Community Programme)

What are the key objectives of this project?

The project’s key objectives focus on cultural re-engagement, entertainment and wellbeing of key demographic groups of the borough, as well as older adults and resident young families of lower social-economic backgrounds. Furthermore, it will help battle isolation and welcome people back into cultural buildings.

How was the project managed?

The project ran once a month, on a Monday, from January until March.

Due to the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions, the dances ran at a reduced capacity in order to help attendees feel more safe.

Covid-19 played a big part with how the events were run. To ensure everyone’s safety, there were fewer tickets available. The majority of those tickets were discounted or free of charge.

Upon arrival the attendees got to choose a wristband. The wristband’s colour indicated if the attendee wished to dance or not.

30 minutes before the dance officially began, there was a chance of a dance class with a Dance Master, Raymond. Raymond would showcase dance moves so the attendees could enjoy the event even more.

The event would last approximately for 4 hours. The music was provided by a DJ, Mr Wonderful! Group dances were the order of the day: dancing forward and in pairings. There was tea, coffee, and cake for everyone to enjoy. People could sit, chat, and watch if they didn’t feel like dancing.

The event took place in the Assembly Hall, which is grand and beautiful. The hall’s set-up for the event was in the traditional style.

Beneficiaries attending Shoreditch Town Hall

Beneficiaries of Shoreditch Town Hall are mostly local. Those that attended the Tea Dances were mostly over 60s. It was quite mixed, although most were women. Most attendees came by themselves, but they knew other people attending the dances. All of them were looking forward to the events and they were dressing up for it.

The lovely thing was that the amount of people attending remained the same as the amount attending those events pre-pandemic.

Issues they met

The main issues we encountered were to do with the pandemic.

The January Tea Dance had to be cancelled due to the Christmas period lockdown. The remaining Tea Dances happened with a reduced capacity. Signage had to be placed around the building with Covid-19 protocol reminders. Staff had to receive additional training.


The Tea Dances had 2 regular staff members working. Then they had around 5-6 additional staff members that are occupied on a casual basis.

Project Goal

The project goal was achieved. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions and the pause of the events for about 18 months, the funding was a great help with getting the Tea Dances underway, once again. The funding helped cover the additional cost of training staff on Covid-19 procedures. It also paid for the anti-bacterial that was placed around the room and for the wristbands that indicated if a person wished to mingle and dance or not. Finally, the funding helped with marketing the event in the Hoxton and Haggerston area.