Christmas Presence Campaign kicks-off at The Chocolate Quarter retirement village

Christmas Presence Campaign kicks-off at The Chocolate Quarter

The festive season got underway at The Chocolate Quarter as the Bristol Bears Community Foundation kicked-off their annual Christmas Presence campaign.

Residents from Charterhouse Care Home and The Chocolate Quarter were joined by pupils from Warmley Park School to sing carols, eat mince pies and exchange Christmas cards.

Friendly handshake

The Christmas Presence campaign is a three-way partnership between the Bristol Bears Community Foundation, Warmley Park School and the St Monica Trust, aimed at raising awareness of loneliness and social isolation among older people over the festive period.

Warmley Park Community Engagement Lead, Kris Tavender said: “This is the first of our 2022 Christmas Presence get togethers and we see it as the initial friendly handshake where we all get to know each other.

“In the coming days, we’ll be working our way across all the St Monica Trust’s sites to bring more of our young adults and the Trust’s residents together in genuine and meaningful engagement.

“You can see the value of this campaign in the genuine skip of the heart when the pupils walk through the doors of The Chocolate Quarter for the first time, the warmth of the welcome they receive and in the smiles on everyone’s faces.

“Despite the many challenges of COVID, the Trust has never shied away from maintaining that special connection with the Bristol Bears Community Park Foundation and Warmley Park School.”

Building friendships

The Warmley Park pupils are a familiar sight around The Chocolate Quarter through the successful work experience programme at B Block, which helps young adults with special education needs prepare for life after leaving school.

As Charterhouse’s Social Care Deputy Manager, Clare Hucker explained, the New Year will see a similar scheme start in the care home: “We hope to be offering pupils opportunities that will not only benefit their development as young adults, but also enhance the well-being and quality of life for our many residents.”

“While the care home can offer pupils opportunities to develop their skills in a number of different roles and activities, it is also a chance to build friendships with our residents and vice versa.

"As you can see from today, just having younger people to talk to can help make such a difference to our residents’ day.”

You can find out more about the Bristol Bears Community Foundation’s Christmas Presence Campaign and the SEND WEX programme by emailing or calling 01454 867272.

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