Day 5 of ubu’s Unite@Christmas
Our fifth ‘Sparkle’ Event and the Christmas stocking and Gift Wrap Competition
Today’s ubu ‘Sparkle’ Event comes from Louth in the East Midlands. “As part of our celebrations for Christmas I chatted with some of my friends about popping around to a place I used to work as a volunteer” says Emma, who is enabled to live with greater independence by ubu.
The TED group, which stands for Talk, Eat and Drink is where I used to work. It’s a place that enables people who have very few friends to get together with like-minded people and have a chat in a safe environment.” Some people in the group are sight impaired and also might have additional needs for support and help to get out and about and they have assistance or therapy dogs who come along with them to meetings.
“I told my friends about the TED group and how much I had really enjoyed being a part of the get togethers. Everyone I met had been so friendly. A lot of us realised that one thing we had in common is that we have been quite lonely and find it difficult to make friends. A lot of the people I met said that they often found it difficult to be out and about in the community for all sorts of reasons. It’s hard to explain, but when you get talking about it with other people, things get better because now you know that you’re not alone any more. Other people are having the same feelings too”.
Emma wanted to make a difference and show the TED group how far she had come and how confident she feels now from having the chance to be a part of Talk Eat and Drink. With her ubu friends, Emma decided to use some of the Sparkle money donated by ubu to do something to show her old friends how grateful she feels for the support she had from them. “My friends and I baked and decorated some cakes and arranged to go to the TED group and see them at their Christmas get together”. Emma and her ubu friends also bought some healthy snacks for the therapy dogs to enjoy with the money ubu had donated to their Sparkle event.
“We spent time chatting and talking to everyone and finding out what everyone had planned for Christmas. It was really very interesting and we enjoyed fussing about the dogs and sharing and eating our cakes”. Emma says that people in the TED group were encouraged by how far she’s come in finding her own voice, her new-found confidence and how she now gets out and about talking to and meeting new people.
“Everyone was very grateful for the cakes and for our visit. I think that we brought a bit of sparkle with us too to cheer everyone up. We wished them all a Merry Christmas and swapped some phone numbers and agreed to have another get together next year.”
Meanwhile at the Hub we celebrated our get together by singing a really traditional song “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. We had a lot of fun being together today, dancing, sharing some tasty snacks and singing at the top of our voices! The Christmas Competition today was gift wrapping and stockings. There weren’t a huge number of entries but we all loved those we’d been sent so all of them are winners today. Simon from Ambleside made an incredibly beautiful elf box. Kevin from the East Midlands made a brilliant Christmas stocking and Samantha from Nottingham got really creative in decorating her Christmas presents. Well done everyone!