Festive Friends case study

Donor support helped to ensure that older members of the local community felt less isolated at Christmas by attending a 'Festive Friends’ Christmas celebration.

Heather MurrayHeather Murray, a second year Marketing student at UWE Bristol, applied to the UWE Bristol Community Fund to help fund a 'Festive Friends' Christmas lunch at St Werburgh’s Community Centre, for older people in the local community. Heather worked with the Community Centre and other partners to organise fundraising events during the year, before putting on the 'Festive Friends' event itself in December 2016.

The event included a three-course Christmas lunch with table service in the beautifully decorated hall at the centre, live entertainment, and everyone attending received a small gift. Heather arranged accessible community transport for guests who were unable to get to the community centre on their own. The event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Jeff Lovell, and covered by BBC Radio Bristol.

Heather says: "I am delighted to report that Festive Friends was a tremendous success. 85 of some of Bristol's more isolated older people came together in what was a very warm, jovial and comfortable atmosphere, amongst a team of fantastic volunteers, and created a sense of what Christmas should really be about. I learned so much about the true plight of isolation in Bristol, and that we really should be working together to reduce this issue with local, grassroots events like this they make a bigger difference to the lives of those involved that I ever initially imagined."

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