Kaz Mayes, Deputy Day Centre Manager
Everyone was welcomed with a ‘Merry Christmas! Have some chocolate!’ as everyone knows the Christmas tradition of chocolate before breakfast! Clients went downstairs, and those that needed to either had a shower or had their clothes dried, because it was absolutely pouring down with rain. There were tea and coffee and Danish pastries for everyone as they came in. Christmas music was playing in the activities room, until the Christmas Quiz started with lots of clients taking part, lots of fun competitive spirit, and a raucous prize giving!
The tables were laid downstairs, with white tablecloths and festive decorations, and once everyone was seated Christmas dinner was served. There were strict orders ‘pull your cracker and wear your hat!’ Two of our ‘Step-Up’ client volunteers helped with the laying of tables, and serving of lunch, one like a demon with the fizzy pop making sure everyone had plenty to drink, and the other putting us all to shame as he is catering trained and carried four dinner plates at a time! Much jollity was had by all, and once the last pudding had been eaten, Santa arrived with plenty of gifts for all, with lots of jokes about whether anyone had been good this year!
Many clients that day were pleased to be with us, some popped in on their way to other community lunches, at churches and hostels, and wished us a Merry Christmas, and said they couldn’t imagine not coming to see us today.
Christmas is not always a good time for some of our clients, and this year we had a few who were struggling with not seeing family or their children. Staff spent time with them, talking about how they felt, and giving some emotional support. One client became upset because he was not with his 3 year old this Christmas, and then apologized as he didn’t want to spoil anyone else’s Christmas, we reassured him that this was not the case, and we wanted him to come back and join the others downstairs which he did do. As he left, he thanked us for our understanding, and was very appreciative of the support he’d received.
Everyone left that afternoon, full of Christmas cheer, and Christmas dinner, clutching a bag full of much appreciated presents, with lots of cries of ‘thank you so much’ and ‘I have had a great day, thanks’.