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LinkAges Christmas Party

Each Christmas St Albans School invites 80 elderly St Albans residents from Care Homes and luncheon groups in the local community to a Christmas Party with a festive afternoon tea and music and entertainment from the School Choir and Lower School Drama group.

Aims

We aim to bring together elderly members of the local area with our school community to share an afternoon of festive fun, food and entertainment. We aim to build on our relationships with local residents and to bridge the gap between generations. 

Background

This project has been going on for around 20 years and involves our Student Community Link volunteers who help in local Care Homes on Friday afternoons. It came about as a result of talking to the Care Home Managers who said how much their residents enjoy being amongst young people at Christmas time and has been extended to local groups of senior citizens, many of whom are alone at Christmas.

Resources

Our school catering service provides a festive afternoon tea with vintage crockery and Christmas decorations. The event takes place in the school Sixth Form Centre and is run by the Head of Community Link with help from the Music Dept, Drama Dept and catering team. Sixth Form volunteers serve the tea and help clear up. The school choir sings carols and we have festive readings and poems from the Lower School Pupils. It is a whole school effort.

We also provide transport (taxis and minibuses) to collect the guests from their homes and return them afterwards and a goody bag for them to take home.

Impact

This is a very popular event amongst the local community and we always have a waiting list of people wanting to attend . Each year we have very positive feedback from the Care Home managers and from the senior citizens who attend the event. For some it is the highlight of their Christmas and has become an annual tradition. Outcomes are assessed by the feedback we get from the guests and Care Home managers.

Pupil Involvement

We have 80 senior citizens attend this event. Around 20 members of our Sixth Form Community Link team assist at the party and help serve and clear the tea and chat with the guests. The Chamber choir of approximately 20 pupils attend as well as 5 Lower School Drama pupils and a group of music students.

Frequency

An annual event that happens every December.