6 January 2021

After such a tough year and with Christmas being a difficult time for lots of the people we support; it was even more important to make Christmas 2020 special for our residents.

At Street Foyer we had wonderful donations from Street Baptist Church, who generously gave to our Just Giving campaign; they also donated an extra £100 and some items for our Christmas gift bags. Staff were thrilled to be able to provide all residents with bags that were bursting with presents; and our young people were completely overwhelmed and appreciative of the kindness shown.

Presents included such things as hats, scarves, gloves, chocolates, mugs, gift sets, slippers, note books and colouring pencils; plus a few toys for toddlers of three people we provide floating support to.

On top of the gift bags received, each resident was also gifted a £20 Sainsbury gift card from Youth With A Future (www.ywaf.org.uk) and a filled Christmas shoe box from the lovely ladies of WI groups across Somerset.

We are truly grateful, as we were able to produce 30 full gift bags for Street Foyer residents, floating support clients and a few young people, who we have recently helped move on, but that we wanted to ensure had something to open on Christmas day.

On top of this we gave away 2 smaller gift bags to 2 ex-residents who live in the local area, but who we know would receive very little this year. They still pop in every now and then to see staff and let us know how they are doing; so it felt only right to include them at this time. 1 smaller gift bag was also given to an ex-resident who has been volunteering for us.

We also received fantastic support from Western Power’s ‘In This Together, Community Matters’ fund and Somerset Community Foundation’s ‘Festive Fund’ which enabled not only our housing project to provide residents with a wonderful Christmas lunch, fun activities and decorations, but every YMCA Brunel Group resident, across Mendip, South Somerset & Bath.

Our activity room was decorated beautifully by some of our residents with lights, tinsel, table cloth and of course the pride of the room, a gorgeous tree. Thanks to our residents our activity room felt really festive and fun for all of December.

Christmas day saw a meal fit for kings! We had all the trimmings, a delicious turkey, full bellies, and The Grinch on TV. We also had a puppy running around and playing fetch with the residents. One resident commented that he was not intending to come out of his room, but thanked the staff, saying he had had a lovely day and appreciated the company and effort that staff had gone to.

Boxing Day consisted of turkey curry and of course the obligatory sandwich!

During 2020 we have provided our residents with even more activities, crafts, cooking and health & wellbeing advice to keep our residents engaged and supported. It was really special to be able to provide our young people with the best end of year we could offer; with a festive twist on the continuation of our support.

Without the huge generosity of our community, none of this would have been possible; and Christmas would have been very different. Thank you