For so many of us Christmas is a magical time, a time of festivities and joy, a chance for children to make precious memories and for them to feel happiness and love - the type of magic that lasts a lifetime. However, it can also be a time with added stress and difficulties for some as family and financial pressures occur. This, combined with the current and national cost-of-living crisis can dampen the magic and celebrations amongst some.
Bristol Charities were not going to let anything dampen festivities for 34 lucky families as they were invited to celebrate Christmas at the Vassall Centre, Frome Vale in style!
Zoe Williams, Centre Manager says: ‘this has been an extra special Christmas this year at the Vassall Centre, and I feel privileged to be a part of something so wonderful. Our lovely families spent the day with us surrounded by their loved ones as they enjoyed craft sessions, delicious food by Secret Soup Society, a special music performance organised by Bristol Beacon ‘Artuba’ and games. There were smiles and cheers all round as festive joy filled the building – it's been really special’.
The day commenced at 10am, welcoming over 100 individuals as they excitedly entered the building in anticipation of what surprises awaited them.
Bristol Charities has formed great partnerships with local organisations and it's with huge thanks to them who helped make the day even more memorable – Mercy in Action brought with them their beautiful boutique ‘clothesline’, arranged a photographer and decorations to make the day really special, Bristol Beacon arranged a special performance as families sat down to enjoy their delicious hot meal and St Pauls Advice Centre with WECIL were also present to offer advice and support. There was a special visit from Santa and each family received a full Winter feast food hamper, gifts and a family portrait photo taken in front of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree to capture the memorable day.
Zoe concludes: ‘it's been brilliant to do something extra special this year for local families within the neighborhood. Seeing them all interact through laughter, play, dance, singing and enjoying a delicious, cooked meal is what Christmas is all about and I’m thankful to all our volunteers and partners who enabled this day to be such a success’.