Traditionally, one of the great highlights of the All Saints festive calendar is the Senior Citizens Christmas Party. Unfortunately, just like last year we were forced to cancel this years event due to concerns over Covid-19.
Last year, rather than being deterred, we took the party to the people and headed out into the community armed with hampers, Christmas carols and festive cheer to bring joy to those who need it most. This gesture was warmly received, with one resident writing to us to say:
"Last year your carol singers brought tears to my ears, it was so beautiful and unexpected...in fact it made my Christmas. I do hope to see you again this year."
With feedback like that it seemed only appropriate that we should do the same thing again this year, and we set off to bring some Christmas cheer into the local community. We hand delivered 24 hampers in total, one for every form in the school. We did so in conjunction with Age UK, one of our house charities, who look after elderly people who are living alone or experiencing social isolation. Students and parents were generous as ever in their donations, with hampers being delivered packed to the brim with delicious treats such as wine, biscuits, Christmas puddings and mince pies, plus practical items like hot water bottles and blankets. These goodies were wrapped up and presented in beautiful homemade hampers, each containing a hand written card from the form group that had donated them.
Just like last year, the hampers and the carols were warmly received, with many residents contacting the school to express their gratitude. Below are some of their comments.
'The Carol singers made our day.'
'That was absolutely lovely. I'm over the moon. Thankyou.'
'I loved the carols, I'm very grateful for your visit.'
'Thanks a million.'
'A big thankyou to all the girls and the two gentlemen who were so polite.'
'I loved all goodies in the hampers and the throws will keep me toasty and warm. Thankyou.'
'A big thankyou to all those who helped and to Andrew for allowing this to happen.'
For many Christmas can be a magical time; a time spent surrounded by family and loved ones, filled with laughter and joy. However, it can also be a difficult time, particularly for those who experience loneliness or anyone forced to spend the holidays alone. It is a time when we can become guilty of focusing too much on what we hope to receive, rather than asking what it is that we can give. Joy filled acts of generosity like this one, serve as a timely reminder to our students of the true meaning of Christmas and the power of giving. It allows them to see themselves as a part of a community in which we all play a part and have a duty to serve.
A huge thank you to students and parents for your generous donations. To the students in house Simon for leading the initiative. To all of our form tutors for your hard work in arranging the hampers. To the staff who helped with delivery and logistics and of course to our wonderful carol singers.