This was the postponed Christmas event for members of the community we engage with who would have spent Christmas alone. It was an Easter event due to the fact we had to postpone the Christmas event due to COVID cases rising in December, so we felt it was unsafe to continue. It was rescheduled for Thursday 14th April 2022.  For this event we received funding Herts County Council and Camelot to ensure attendees could come for free and receive a gift. Staff wore PPE including visors for the event.

We hired The Barn (as this was the most central location for members) as our venue. We decorated the tables with plants, little chocolate eggs and chicks to brighten the room. We also hired an entertainer, originally this was a singer called Karen, however due to personal reasons they had to cancel. We were then able to book Malcolm who was a pianist and singer for 1.5 hours.

We provided lunch which was a variety platter including cold cuts, potato salad and quiche. We included a dessert; the clients had a choice of Victoria sponge or Chocolate fudge cake and fruit. There was plenty to go round and for future events looking at the required amount of food may be appropriate.

We also ensured each attendee received a gift which contained a puzzle book (Arrow words/Sudoku/Crosswords) with a small bag of easter eggs. We provided these at the end of the event as a going home present.

During our wellbeing calls throughout the pandemic the H&W team highlighted individuals that they had been speaking to that would be alone over Christmas. We ensured the same invitees were invited to the Easter event to ensure they received an enjoyable and social event they had been promised previously.

We originally invited 30 people.  Sadly, one invitee passed away before the rescheduled event could take place. We then had four attendees cancel on the week of the event due to the personal circumstances, so we had 25 confirmed on Wednesday 13th. As wanted to ensure numbers we invited 5 people from our Halsey club. We then had 30 total but on the day we only had 27 attendees total. We were made aware that 2 people were unable to be collected from our mini bus driven by Derek.

At the event, we promoted our new GT Membership packages and the What’s On guide. We felt this was appropriate as these people were known to us to be socially isolated. We hope from following conversations some of these attendees will sign up. Digital Inclusion was also promoted to help individuals who weren’t comfortable using the technology at present.

We had some lovely feedback from two attendees:

“Thank you all for your hard work.  We had a really enjoyable day from the time Derek picked us up. Nice friendly, helpful man. The meal was delicious, and you were all so chatty, friendly and helpful so thank you very much. The music was lovely as well. Thanks again for everything.”

Whilst others remarked on the day:

“It’s nice to put a name to faces”

“The food was spot on!”

“It was so nice to get out of the flat and meet people”

All said it had been “A lovely day”.

Whilst the H&W team said: How nice it was to meet people that you had built relationships with over the phone for the last two years.