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HOPE’s Christmas cracker casts isolation in older people out into the cold

Posted: December 11, 2019

Hillcrest Homes and Caledonia Housing Association with support from Dundee City Council and the local business community have thrown a cracker of a Christmas party for over 90 older people at risk of isolation this Christmas.

The party was organised as part of the Helping Older People Engage (HOPE) programme, and also involved not-for-profit organisations Dundee Voluntary Action, Royal Voluntary Service, Dundee Community Transport, Dial-OP and Go and Dundee Third Sector Interface.

The Days Gone by Festive Tea Party, which was free to attend, was held from 1:30 pm to 4 pm on Tuesday 10th December at Coldside Parish Church in Dundee.  Party guests tucked into sandwiches, cakes and treats, with the festivities also featuring a raffle and entertainment from storyteller Erin and music from Ray the DJ.

The event was made possible by the overwhelming generosity of local businesses.

Donations were received from Hillcrest, Blackadders, Clark’s Bakery, DC Thomsons, Greggs, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Spar, Scott Brothers Butchers, Tesco, Fisher and Donaldson, Wiltshire Farm Foods, the Co-op, The Dundee Rep, Marks and Spencers, Royal Voluntary Service, Rosebank Primary School, Central Library.

Neil Paterson, from the Central Library created brilliant talking points for party guests by taking old photos of Dundee and laminating them to make unique and personal placements for everyone attending. Children from Rosebank Primary School also made festive cards for all of the party-goers.

Hillcrest community engagement officer Maureen McLay said: “With older people often being at most risk of isolation and loneliness, the HOPE project aims to bring people together and encourage engagement in local events and activities.

“At this time of year with festivities going on around us, the isolation that our service users have suffered often only increases. As well as our regular events, this Christmas party aimed to bring some festive cheer and get everyone having a great time!”

Dawn Balfour, Caledonia Housing Association community engagement worker, added “Winter can be a challenging time for our older communities. The HOPE annual festive event is fantastic, bringing everyone together to create new memories with new friends and reduce isolation. We can’t thank our local communities and businesses that support this event enough – it really is the highlight of a lot of our service users’ year.”


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