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Festive spirits raised at Leyland Christmas party for isolated older people

Posted on - 15th December, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Christmas, Health, Preston News
A partygoer having fun with Christmas props

More than 50 people who use Lancashire County Council’s adult care services celebrated Christmas early with a special party. 

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The party was for older people who are at risk of becoming lonely or isolated, and was organised by the county council’s reablement team. 

Festive fun included carol singing from the school choir at Leyland St James C of E Primary School, flute performances of Christmas classics, and presents for everyone from Father Christmas. 

Party-goers at the event at The Leyland Centre in King Street had refreshments and a three-course Christmas dinner. After the meal, representatives from Age UK and the library service spoke to people about the services they provide. 

The food and presents were all donated and around 50 volunteers helped with the party.

Read more: Fulwood woman organising Christmas Day lunch to combat loneliness

Dawn Whittle, occupational therapist, said “The party was absolutely brilliant and everyone enjoyed themselves. So many guests said how they don’t see anyone and that it took a lot to summon up the courage to attend, but they were so glad they did. 

“One lady told me how she hadn’t left her house for years until the party and she absolutely loved it. 

“The party has given people more confidence and motivation to attend a day centre and lots of people said they would like to do it again.” 

Read more: Send a card to help reduce loneliness in Preston care homes this Christmas

A partygoer being welcomed by the team

Heather Hesketh, occupational therapy manager, said: “We had the idea that we wanted to do something to help people who might feel lonely or isolated, and thought a party would be just the thing. 

“We asked people from the county council’s care services and the organisations we work with to nominate people who they thought would benefit from the party. 

“There was a fantastic atmosphere and everyone had so much fun on the day. Seeing how much people enjoyed it certainly made it all worthwhile. 

“We had so many donations for the presents and food, and we’d like to thank everyone for their support and for giving up their time to help us on the day.”

Read more: Food club aims to help some of Preston’s most deprived communities this Christmas

Louise Taylor, executive director of adult services, health and wellbeing, said: “I am proud of colleagues who arranged this social event and I’m delighted that so many older people were able to come and enjoy the festivities. 

“This time of year can be very difficult for those who are on their own or feel lonely and what a wonderful way to support them. 

“I know the generosity of spirit and time will have been appreciated. 

“We can all play our part in our communities by reaching out to those who might feel cut off or isolated.”

Read more: New ‘What The Flock’ crowdfunder to tackle loneliness in Preston and beyond

What do you think of the party? Let us know in the comments.

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