Our second ‘Sparkle’ Event and the Homemade Snowmen and Angels Competition
Our seasonal event, the 14 days of Christmas has become a ubu tradition now. This year the people we serve and ubu team members wanted to find a theme to bring us all together. We agreed on ‘Unite@Christmas’ because we all felt that the need for working together with similar goals and shared values is more important than ever before.
The people we serve and the ubu team in Leeds were shocked to hear the story of Violett, a lady who has been working for ubu as an Enabling support team member. Violette had returned home to Rwanda earlier this year to go her late father’s funeral. During her visit, she was abruptly arrested by government officers and accused of a number of inexplicable ‘crimes’.
The ‘crimes’ Violett had been charged with were eventually found to be false and completely unfounded. Whilst still grieving the loss of her father, Violette was held in prison for over two months. It was a terrible and frightening experience. She was also five months pregnant when she was arrested. During her extended ordeal of imprisonment, her two young sons wrote to the president of Rwanda from their home in Leeds, asking for their mum back.
Their heartfelt appeal was featured on Yorkshire’s Calendar News programme at the time. Violett had no way of contacting anyone for a number of weeks while she was under arrest. She had no way to let family back in Britain know where she was or how she was being treated. So it was an extremely scary time for her loved ones.
Eventually Violett was released by the Rwandan Government and returned home in April of this year. Finally she was reunited with her husband and two young sons. During the summer she gave birth to her third son.
Obviously, Violett has had a very difficult and traumatic 2017. So the people we serve and her ubu team colleagues decided to surprise the family with some well-deserved Christmas ‘Sparkle’.
Today was our second day of ubu Unite@Christmas. At our ‘Unite@Christmas Event in Harrogate, lots of our guests dressed up and enjoyed the singing along to “Frosty the Snowman”. There was also lots of dancing, some fun games and delicious refreshments served by the Hub elves including snowballs, hot chocolate and marshmallows.
It was also the second day of our Christmas competitions. Today we were enjoying the best snowman or angel artwork made by the people we serve. Congratulations to our winner Deborah from Harrogate for her fantastic entry! Deborah has been knitting for a while now and wanted to show us her talent for this competition, “I love knitting and I thought it would be a really original way of taking part in the competition. Maybe I’ll knit something else for next year’s competition too!”.
We think that art and crafts can be an incredible way of sharing our feelings and ideas with other people. So many artistic entries have been sent by people we serve from every region ubu serves that it has been very hard to choose a ‘winner’ because every single person showed a different and sometimes surprising talent or technique in the art the shared with us. We can’t wait to see what people come up with for the rest of our Unite@Christmas competitions this year!