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B:friend brings together over 150 older neighbours for a big Christmas Celebration

This year, b:friend hosted a special Christmas Party for the older community at Parklands Sports & Social Club in Doncaster.

Over 150 older neighbours from b:friend Social Clubs from South Yorkshire and Chesterfield joined the festivities from 11am to 2pm on 19 December 2023. The celebration included musical entertainment, a buffet, games, and even a raffle.

Sara Kopecsni, b:friend Communications Officer, said: “This is the first time we organised a Christmas party on such a large scale, although we had a very successful Coronation Celebration in Conisborough in May, with similar numbers. After that, there was no question that we had to make this party happen, as we had such overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees.

“The holidays can be extremely difficult for many older adults who have no family or friends to spend it with. Furthermore, a lot of our older neighbours said they don’t go out around Christmas time as places are too busy and the meals are very expensive.

“At b:friend, we are all about bringing people in the community together, and we were delighted to be able to give people the chance to share a meal, a dance and some laughter with friends without worrying about the costs.

“We’re so grateful to our funders such as the Gripple Foundation and The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, whose support made this Christmas Party possible.”

The charity has a total of 11 Social Clubs across Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield and Chesterfield.

The Social Clubs have a different activity every week to boost meaningful community connections and well-being, from dancing and making mocktails to mindful crafts and creative writing.

Terry, who attends one of b:friend’s Social Clubs, said: “My doctor told me to come to the club because I was in a bad way after my wife died, and the counselling didn’t help. And do you know, it’s the best thing I could have done. I really enjoy it.”