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Christmas Market puts the “Ho-ho-ho” back in John Wills Ho-use

Westbury Fields was transformed into a winter wonderland last Saturday for John Wills House’s first-ever Outdoor Christmas Market.

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More than 200 residents, relatives and colleagues from John Wills House care home and across the wider Westbury Fields site, got to shop, eat, drink, make merry and enjoy the Ambling Band’s unique combination of brass instruments and pink costumes.

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There were twenty five local stall holders selling an array of artisan goodies just perfect for going under a Christmas tree or in a festive stocking hung above a fireplace, plus games and a Santa’s Grotto.

A number of stalls were also run by residents and John Wills House colleagues, which sold items made by care home residents over the last few weeks.

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Unable to hold the annual indoor Christmas Market due to Covid restrictions, the John Wills House team decided to put on an Outdoor Christmas Market instead.

John Wills House Care Home Manager, Wendy Leaman said: “Our care home residents aren’t always able to attend big events like Bristol’s German Market and this was our way of giving everyone a real Christmas experience to kick start the festive season.

“We always say that if our residents can’t go to something, is there a way that we can bring it to them? And Saturday was an event that was enjoyed by all age groups, giving people a much-needed lift after what has been a difficult year.”

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The outdoor market raised more than £1,500 for the two charities chosen by John Wills House residents, which were the RNLI and RNIB. A knitted advent calendar created by a very talented supporter of the Trust also raised £170 for the North Bristol Foodbank.

Wendy said: “The team at John Wills House put in a phenomenal amount of hours to organise the outdoor market, on top of their normal duties, and I would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to Emily Pimm, Karen Mohamud, Michelle Buckley, Domenica Hall, the facilities team, Helen Cartledge, Gary Ford and everyone who helped out on the day.”

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Thank you to Aspen Services, Wogan Coffee and W J Harris Catering Butchers for kindly sponsoring the Outdoor Christmas Market.

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