A roundup of Festive Joy!
Celebration is one of our core values at Bonny Downs: celebrating joy even in the midst of life’s hardships. With the cold winter and rising costs of living, we need joy more than ever. And over the Christmas period, our staff and volunteers provided joy through a variety of events to over 300 residents! Below is a summary of the amazing festive activities that brought local residents a few hours of joy away from the hardships they face.
Food Bank Christmas Party
On 14th December, 35 locals, 8 volunteers and 6 staff members were treated to a beautiful five-star Christmas Lunch service by the Catering and Hospitality teams from ExCeL London. It was an amazing traditional Christmas meal with all the trimmings and they served all our guests with great respect and professionalism. Alongside this, ExCeL also donated a generous £5,000 for our Community Response project. We are so grateful to Natalie Sykes and her team at ExCeL.
One attendee said, “Thank you for today, the food was lovely, and everyone has been so kind. It’s also good to see the volunteers enjoy the meal too after working so hard throughout the year.”
Family Hub Christmas Celebration
On 15th December, over 40 Family Hub members gathered as one big family and hosted a Bring and Share Christmas lunch, complete with Christmas crackers and music. From puff puffs, biriyani and pakoras, it was a feast… someone even home brewed non-alcoholic wine! This was a great way to end and celebrate a year together and sharing the joys and challenges faced along the way.
A big thank you to Cadent and Masonic who fund our Family Hub project and made this possible.
Youth Christmas Party
That same evening, over at the Bobby Moore Pavilion, 35 young people enjoyed the annual Christmas party. This year had a few unique additions due to the lovely snowfall. The party had music, pizza, snacks as well as fun activities and games for young people. And for those who were daring enough to take part, a snowball fight, and a football match in the snow!
One young attendee said, “I really enjoyed the Christmas party, I really liked the snowball fight. I can’t wait for the next party!”
Interfaith Christmas Garden Party
Over 100 residents attended our Interfaith event at our Community Garden on 17th December. They enjoyed listening to the choir signing around a log fire, planting Spring bulbs and even a guest appearance from Mother Christmas!
Our long-term regular garden volunteer, Maryam, said, “It was a great event, and so busy. Lots of new faces of all ages came and enjoyed it.”
Over 65’s Christmas Party
On Tuesday 20th December, over 70 people attended our Over 65s Christmas Celebration Party. It included a three-course meal, drinks, and snacks, lots of disco dancing in the afternoon followed by mince pies & mulled wine, and even a little gift to take away.
A big thank you goes to the three wonderful volunteers from Our Newham Money, the event would not have been possible without them. Thank you also to one of our guests who kindly donated towards the party.
Guests Ghislaine and Mark Baron thoroughly enjoyed the celebration and said, “Folks looked jolly and bright in their outfits. The atmosphere was very Christmassy and good spirited. Everyone was of good cheer. The Christmas meal was tasty. We had a boogie down in Wonderland and modelled for the photo opportunity. We were given a box of chocolate each to take home to forget all the aches and pains to come. Sitting at home rubbing our painful joints with painkiller gel, we remember this Christmas at the Well with a smile because we had a jolly good time! Looking forward to the next one. Thanks once again for all you do for us elderly folks.”
Over 4 generations of one family joined the annual Festive Football event on 27th December 2022, with James Cordery debuting at just 9 years old. It was a very close game with the final score of 8-9 to our chairman Dave’s team (no bias, we promise!) Great fun was had by players and spectators alike.