On Friday 9 December 2022, The Hunslet Youth Club brought together different generations by hosting a social action project for their local South Leeds community.
For this social action project, some of our young people provided residents from local care homes with a Christmas dinner as well as an evening of entertainment in the form of festive music, bingo and even a dance performance.
The itinerary for the night included the following:
- A meet and greet – with tea and coffee
- Festive music
- Dance performance
The event kicked off at 5:30 pm, and here are some memorable highlights from the night. The night started with our guests arriving, all wrapped up and protected from the cold weather, and they were given a warm welcome by our youth workers, young people, and volunteers.
Our guests commented on the handmade favours that our volunteers made. Our youth club had added personal messages to each one so that every guest had something to take home with them, to remember this special evening. The tea and coffee were served, and our youth club became more confident in engaging with our guests throughout the evening.
Soon the main event was dished out in the form of a delicious Christmas dinner. The vegetables were donated by Kelly, the Morrisons Hunslet Community Champion, and the turkey and dinner sets were donated by Phil and Sam from Bennetts Butchers in Morley. It is nice to see the community coming together once again for a special occasion.
Once the food had been devoured, Amber, our phenomenal dance coach, and her ballet students took to the floor to perform a heart-warming dance. Not many dry eyes were left by the end of the performance, as the routine seemed to capture the audience’s hearts.
The Hunslet Club Rogues also took to the floor to perform a Disney song to the audience, which captivated everyone listening. Of course, you can’t bring different generations together without a game of bingo.
After the planned events of the evening took place, an unexpected event occurred. Spurred by the confidence they gained that evening, two members of our youth club asked to perform a Christmas song for our guests. Influenced by these two courageous youth club members, soon, our entire team of staff, volunteers, and guests were singing along to Last Christmas.
You never know the kind of isolation others may be experiencing this time of year, which is why events like this are so important. We brought different generations in South Leeds together, and it didn’t just benefit our guests. Our young people grew in confidence that night, and our staff and volunteers got involved so much. Everyone loved the sense of camaraderie and Christmas fun.
It is amazing what a simple chat can do because it isn’t seen as simple by others – it is seen as a huge gesture.
Comments from the evening
Comment from Bela Lugosi, a guest from the evening:
“I’ve never had so much fun – the kids have been fantastic. The entertainment left us with happy tears.”
Quote from a youth worker at The Hunslet Club who helped organise this event:
“The evening was the best experience EVER! I really enjoyed being a part of such a special night. This was the first time we helped bridge the gap between our young people and the elderly. Bringing different ages together was truly wonderful, a night all of us will never forget. We can’t wait for next year.”
Comment from a youth club member at the event:
“I absolutely loved tonight as we gave the elderly a nice night as you may never know their situation. It felt amazing as I thought about how this would benefit them. I would definitely do it again.”
Here at The Hunslet Club, we loved seeing different generations interacting and having fun. These different generations of people may not have the opportunity to interact like this otherwise. We have so much to learn from each other, and there is so much fun to be had, as this event showed.
Overall, we hope this social action project helped ease the loneliness many may experience at this time of year and shows others that even small actions can mean so much to others. Plus, you can have some Christmas fun, no matter your age! We can’t wait to do it again next year.
It is all about bringing the community together in new ways.
This post was written by Lisa Benfield
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