A Christmas to remember
I began volunteering at the Community Hub on 2nd December 2016. This was the first event I attended since I commenced there. I had dual feelings of excitement and somewhat apprehension to be attending as the staff members and volunteers were busy getting all the final details together some of which I helped in.
The Christmas Lunch is an event promoted by WFCHUB with the aim of bringing together members from the Senior Citizens Group and young people from the Youth Group.
The event started at 12pm and closed at 4pm. It was well attended with most guests arriving on time. They were greeted on arrival by myself and Sonita (staff member) at reception where individuals had to be checked in and signed off before being escorted to a seat of their choice. VIP guests in attendance included the MP of Walthamstow – Stella Creasy,
Mayor of Waltham Forest and three Hoe Street Ward Councillors. The guests were served by the young volunteers initially with tea, coffee, water or soft drink whilst awaiting the lunch serving at 1pm.
Staff, adult and youth volunteers worked very hard and collaboratively in preparing the hall, which appeared dramatically transformed giving it a festive theme ie. Christmas decorations on the wall and the tables dressed in white. The Christmas theme was further accentuated by Tommy Anderson dressed as Santa Claus.
Tommy Anderson (Volunteer who supports the Senior Citizens Group) formally opened the proceedings at 12.30pm by firstly welcoming everyone and giving an overview of the event. He then introduced two Councillors and the Mayor of Waltham Forest who gave speeches.
Lunch was served promptly at 1pm, the young people took on the role of waiters/ waitresses respectively. The menu consisted of roast chicken, stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots and brussel sprouts, served with gravy. After the guests were served, the youth and adult volunteers and staff members sat with guests for the meal. Desserts were later served, which was a selection of sponge cake, Christmas cake, mince pies and hot custard. The food was delicious and everyone seemed to relinquish this as was envisaged by the empty plates.
At 2pm the guests were entertained with a Christmas play by a youth group from a Waltham Forest summer drama group, which was a fantastic production compromising of a melange of orthodox and non-orthodox features.
The performance was followed by a raffle which seemed to add a great buzz to the event. Lots of prizes were offered – was amazed by this. Guests were elated with their winnings with some individuals receiving multiple winning prizes.
Following the raffle, there was gentle music and guests were encouraged to take to the dance floor. The event drew to a close with a further speech from Monwara (Manager of Centre) who acknowledged individuals who helped to organise and served on the day and showing appreciation to the guests. Ending with announcement of another inter-generational event “a Pantomime” on 29th January 2017, something to look forward to in the new year.
In summary, great event for community cohesion between youngsters and elderly citizens. The ambience in the hall was one of celebration and happiness. Notably, also the youths appeared well-mannered and patient with a lot of interaction between the two groups.