Happy New Year! Before we really get into the swing of 2022, we wanted to have a quick recap of the community projects we were involved in during the run-up to Christmas...
PIE Community Christmas Party - Organised with Pretty Tough Things, we invited a variety of families we have worked with throughout the year! This involved families we mainly met through HAF and Pieces of the PIE, as well as linking in with Keira's Kingdom to invite families they support. The activities were organised by our community organisers at Start Point, and included games, raffles, buffet, bingo, tombola, crafts, presents from Santa and a buffet. Working on this was a great start to December! Seeing our community leaders come together to make Christmas special for local families was fabulous.
Sharks Advantage programme - We worked with our cohorts in Little Hulton, Salford, and Moss Side, Manchester, to plan and deliver community projects to support their local communities at Christmas. Little Hulton chose to create over 30 care packages for young people who are living in sheltered accommodation. This involved budgeting, shopping, wrapping and distributing these to homes in Salford. Packages included games, toiletries, household items and Christmas sweet treats. The group from Moss Side contacted Cornerstone Day Centre, and established which items they would find most useful over the Christmas period. They then shopped for items, ensuring they budgeted effectively to get the best amount of food and other essential items. Sister Maria wrote to us to say: Thank you so much for your generous gifts to Cornerstone of Food, a blessing for which we are truly grateful, and appreciative of your thinking of Cornerstone. God bless and reward you for such generosity in giving. With every good wish for Christmas and the New Year. Shalom. Sincerely in Christ. Sr. Maria,. fmsj.
Sweet cones - A number of our groups chose to create sweet cones - but all of them had a slightly different twist!
Hyde - Year 7/8 Into the Mix Group - this group created 100 sweet cones to go to local foodbanks to be shared with families who were collecting Christmas food packages.
Hyde - Year 10 Future Ready Group - these students made Sweet Cones and emoji badges for everyone in their year group to give everyone a boost, and to spread the happiness, at the end of a tough year.
Unity - Year 11 Group - this group made sweet cones, postcards and personalised stickers for all of Year 11 congratulating them for getting to the end of a really tough term!
St Anne's - Year 10 Boys Future Ready Group - their sweet cones were accompanied with poems that they have written so far during their programme. Watch this space for their upcoming anthology of poems to raise money for homeless charities!
Unity - Year 10 Christmas markets - after having to cancel their visit to Manchester Christmas markets due to covid, our Year 10 group at Unity decided they wanted to bring the Xmas market experience to school! Using their budget, they created a Christmas tree of positive messages (all written on tags and attached to chocolate coins) which students were invited to come and take. They also created Rudolph candy canes which Santa and his helpers gave out, and created a free tombola with over 400 prizes that was open to all students in Year 7, 8, 9 and 10!
Wave of Change - we had a festive day of fun for our Wave of Change ladies on the 16th December. A day of festive crafts, a great buffet, and the chance to meet face to face with fellow wave of changers and prepare for the Christmas period by taking some time for themselves.
Family Christmas cinema visit - on Saturday 18th December we invited all of our Stockport families to join us for a festive showing of Home Alone at the Regent Cinema in Stockport. Everyone even got a free ice cream at the interval! It was great to bring our families together to start Christmas week together.
Family bags - In addition to our HAF Christmas Project (new blog coming soon!) we distributed 20 bags to families in need in partnership with All Saints Primary School in Marple. Via online fundraising and donations from different community groups, this was twice the number planned and we were able to provide age appropriate books/games for each child as well as something for Mum & Dad.
And with that, we can't wait to get going again this year! There will be a new blog coming soon telling you all about our HAF Project this Christmas. We have so enjoyed broadening our work in the community and look forward to expanding further in 2022!