Glendale Community Christmas Day as was
Back in August 2017. Lynne Pringle and Jane Pannell were having one of those conversations about the state of the world and politics and gardening and how both wished they could face doing more housework – and Lynne mentioned a scheme she’d heard about in south west England (Lynne has several ideas a day) – and it was all about people coming together to enjoy Christmas Day who might not otherwise have done so.
And they thought – well it’s worth a try and seeing if people were interested. They decided that if 9 people expressed an interest by the end of September then it was viable. By the end of September there were 20+
So, they let as many people know as possible – businesses, individuals, groups – applied for funding from Greggs Foundation and Alnwick Lions. Glendale Gateway Trust agreed to provide the umbrella so they could devote energies to organising things for the day.
The generosity list was substantial.
- Individuals gave money – everything from a fiver to £75
- Shops donated food and gift bags and all manner of things
- Groups offered to make decorations and write cards and wrap presents
- Loads of people offered to help on the day – and on the day before to decorate the hall, washing plates and baking trays
- volunteers agreed to provide transport for those who weren’t able to make it under their own steam
- One landowner dug up a Christmas tree especially for us
- Others offered to entertain in one way or another
- One person donated a BIG TV so that we could watch the Queen’s Speech
- And a local couple donated all the Christmas crackers
- One woman who couldn’t make it because her mother’s dementia is too bad settled down and peeled an entire sack of sprouts – and her mum helped as well
- And the Anchor agreed to cook the food
A successful raffle at the Christmas market, with some really good donated prizes, raised funds and awareness of the event, together with word of mouth, social media and any other means they could identify.
On Christmas Eve volunteers decorated the hall, set out tables, washed all the plates and oven dishes and serving dishes. As well as the Christmas tree, people brought along lights and tinsel, table decorations and a load of greenery. Gift bags were filled with small gifts, traditional items such as a satsuma, a nut and a chocolate, together with a Christmas card and useful leaflets about everything going on in Glendale. The Hall looked amazing!
49 people sat down to Christmas lunch in 2017. The Anchor cooked the food and it was kept hot in the Hall kitchen – the kitchen team were grease spots on the floor by the time it was all over. People welcomed everyone at the door, drivers brought people along and one chap took a participant out on to the street in the rain to have a cigarette at various times during the day. The washers up – well to say their fingers were wrinkled was an understatement. At the end of the day, there were decorations to take down and store for another year, tables to be stacked and put away, remarkably little food waste – and we offered take-aways for those who could face more turkey. The floors were swept and the day was over. There was no charge for those attending although there was a bucket for any donations – and there were donations!
Year 2 wasn’t very different! The group learned from the first year and the whole day was shorter – again 49 people sat down to lunch. And for three individuals who couldn’t make it to the Hall, lunch was taken to them at home.
And 2019 …..
The real issues are not just about Christmas Day – they’re about conditions that exist all year round. So the group decided on a change of name, guided by those at the AGM, to Glendale Connect – after all, making connections is what it’s all about.
And an offer! We have a full range of crockery, cutlery and pans for loan – if you need these for a function that is of benefit to members of our communities, just let us know!
So, this year there’ll be another Community Christmas Day. Anyone who would like to come along – to help out, because they’re on their own or just to enjoy a different kind of Christmas Day, should just let the steering group know. Just contact Jane Pannell on 01289 3883321 and firstname.lastname@example.org and if you’d like to know more, then please just ask.