Helping Oldhamers spread Christmas cheer

Date published: 06 December 2019

First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has been spreading Christmas cheer by hosting a festive lunch for some of their customers to enjoy.

The seasonal celebration, which took place at their Union Street offices yesterday (Thursday), saw customers from their Independence Service join support workers for a delicious hot meal, festive tunes and the chance to socialise with others.

As winter approaches, older people can become particularly vulnerable as cold, wet weather increases their risk of contracting illnesses and becoming socially isolated; especially for people who live on their own.

They are also less likely to be able to provide a hot meal for themselves on a regular basis.

Vinny Roche, Chief Executive, said: “Not only have we been able to thank some of our customers with a Christmas treat, the event has given us the opportunity to provide a meal and some company during the colder months.

“Our guests have had a fantastic time and we feel privileged to have been able to spread some joy while making a difference to their lives over the Christmas period.”

Kelvin Greenwood, an FCHO customer who attended the event, said: “What an amazing day.

"I’ve not attended anything like this in such a long time, and I’ve been really looking forward to it.

"I even had my hair cut especially.

“The food was excellent and everybody was talking and getting to know each other. I had a really good time.”

The event, which coincided with International Volunteers’ Day, involved food which was served by volunteer students from New Bridge Group.

New Bridge students regularly volunteer in the onsite café, the Atrium, as part of their employability pathway and citizenship skills development.

They also got involved by making handmade wreaths, paper chains and other decorations to make the event as joyful as possible.

Sue O’Hara, a neighbourhood officer at FCHO, also donated festive balloons to decorate the room.

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