I am the Parnwell Residents Association and along with Sharon of Kingsgate and Adrian of Peterborough City Council, we set up a group called Parnwell Hub. This group was set up so we could have a more targeted approach to helping create more of a community in Parnwell and making it an all-round better place for residents of Parnwell.
Over the months since Parnwell Hub was created we have bought together the community champions of the local area and those with an interest in Parnwell such as the City College, the connectors, the police, the council and more.
GrandAdults is one of the projects we have begun and this works with an aim to connect and engage with older people who may be at risk of loneliness or isolation; every week a coffee morning is arranged and people over 50yrs old meet for tea and cake while meeting neighbours, new people and new friends. Some weeks the attendees have 10 minutes to tell the group their story if they choose to and this has gone down really well.
As Christmas was upon us it was quickly decided that a Christmas Dinner was required; Dave Tye organises the GrandAdults and raised the request at Parnwell Hub and Sylvia from City College and Peterborough City Council quickly came to the rescue offering the resources of CommUNITY Meet and Eat to provide the food.
Each GrandAdult paid just £5 and they were treated to a visit from Santa (the mayor) who gave everyone a present, a 3 course Christmas meal with hot beverages and mince pies to finish, a beautifully dressed table setting (with a cracker each of course), table drinks and welcome drinks, entertainment from an incredible singer and a quiz with prizes from yours truly!
We had a brilliant turn out and there were smiles all round throughout the event, it was incredibly successful and made a very positive impact on those attending.
I was told by one lady after receiving a gift from Santa that this was her first present in years that she had received from someone outside the family and I can genuinely say it bought a tear to my eye and a large lump in my throat; as did the thanks and praise throughout and after the event. Everyone was so grateful.
HUGE thanks of course go to Dave Tye and his team for organising the event, Sylvia for putting on some fabulous food and the volunteers from Cummins Engineering for being our waiters and waitresses for the event. You did a superb job.
With my Chairperson of Parnwell Residents Association hat on, I cannot thank you all enough for the time and effort you have put in to helping the community I live in – being part of the organising committee (and quiz master extraordinaire) has given me an extremely warm feeling inside that is sure to last until Christmas and I am sure our attendees felt the same.
Which leaves me to ask; what can you do to make your community great?