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Winter Wonderland at St Thomas More

A Winter Wonderland of activities came to St Thomas More parish in time for Christmas.

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The Food and Friendship team worked with parishioners from St Thomas More church and children from St Thomas More School to work together on an intergenerational project.

We visited the children at school and asked the children ‘What does friendship mean to you?’ The children responded with great enthusiasm and when I asked them if they had any friends over the age of 50 – they told us some wonderful examples of people they knew who might be lonely or isolated.

The children went on to make special invitations for their older guests and to distribute them to their friends and families.

During the course of three after-school sessions, children and their ‘mature’ friends prepared food for more than 30 people, and made Christmas decorations in clay, paper and felt. They decorated plant pots and planted bulbs. And we also had a quiet table for colouring in, puzzles and reflection with all of the participants sharing happy memories of winter and Christmas in a special memories book.

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Meal time was a delight with the sharing of delicious food and a chance to chat. Funny stories, telling jokes and laughter were part of our sessions.

It was wonderful to see children and older adults working closely together, being creative and helping each other. The caring and sharing between the generations was apparent at every session.

As Christmas grew closer the group decorated chocolate logs, pulled crackers and sang Christmas carols. We asked the group to reflect on their time together and we listened to children tell us that they had improved their communication skills, got to know a new group of people and developed their understanding and friendship with other people. Adults told us how much they had enjoyed being part of the group, for some of them it had taken courage to come along, others simply loved the company.

Without exception all of the participants had a fantastic, fun time in our Winter Wonderland.