Dundee businesses and organisations band together to banish isolation this Christmas
The party was organised as part of the Helping Older People Engage (HOPE) programme, and involved not-for-profit organisations Hillcrest and Caledonia housing associations, Dundee Voluntary Action, Royal Voluntary Service, Dundee Community Transport, Dial-OP and Go, Dundee Third Sector Interface and the Rotary Club of Dundee.
The Christmas cracker, which was free to attend, kicked off at 2pm on November 28 at Menzieshill Community Centre. Party guests tucked into sandwiches, cakes and treats, with the festivities also featuring a raffle and live music courtesy of Wayne O’Hare and a choir from St Paul’s Primary School.
The event was boosted by generous donations of food, vouchers and money, courtesy of a number of businesses. The show of solidarity from the business community helping to banish Christmas isolation consisted of Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Scotmid, M&S, Spar, Fisher and Donaldson, Scott’s Butchers, Hobbycraft, Bield and Blackadders.
Hillcrest community engagement officer, Maureen McLay, who leads the project, said: “With older people often being the most likely to find themselves isolated and lonely, 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!”
Dundee Voluntary Action older people’s service development officer, Nicola Mitchell, added: “Many people who are isolated can often feel like they are missing out at Christmas, and this celebration was intended to give them a celebration they might never have otherwise had. However, it’s the very generous support from our sponsors that has helped make this event happen. I’d like to thank every company and organisation that has helped make a huge difference to someone’s Christmas.”