On Monday 19th December, we partnered with the newly opened Catford Constitutional Pub to offer a heart-warming afternoon of free Christmas themed entertainment and dining for a group of Lewisham residents aged 50 and over.
Around forty local adults signed up and came along, including a number of regular service users who’d shared with us that they would be spending this Christmas alone. They were invited to take a load off and meet new people in the area to celebrate Christmas. New connections were born and old friendships rekindled over a gourmet parsnip soup, impressive turkey roast and a warming Christmas pudding.
Walking in to a pub alone and sitting down for a meal with a group of people you’ve never met before can be a daunting experience, especially for anyone feeling socially isolated or struggling with issues such as their mobility and/or mental health. Yet the flowing conversation in the room seemed to echo an atmosphere of warmth and connection, which is also a testament to the diligent hospitality and kindness of the staff at the Constitutional. Working in partnership with their team has been a real pleasure and we look forward to co-hosting more community events with them in 2023.
A delicious three course meal was accompanied by a time of Christmas carolling, led by the talented and charismatic guest musician Kat. One attendee expressed having an ‘absolutely wonderful afternoon’, one that she was ‘most grateful for’.
It is heartening to think of the greater sense of community cultivated through the simple act of eating and talking together. We hope that through this small offering of music, food and company, those who came were able to take a positive memory away with them in to the Christmas season, and a reminder that opportunities for connection are out there!
Words by Becky Kerly (Community Facilitator)