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Students spread a bit of Christmas cheer with #DMUlocal

Elderly people from all over Leicester were treated to a Christmas party run by student volunteers from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

#DMUlocal, which runs activities all over the city to support communities, laid on a traditional Christmas dinner as well as entertainment including bingo and a performance from the DMU Square Mile Community Choir singing carols.
There was even a visit from Father Christmas.

“The atmosphere is lovely,” said Phyllis Thompson, from Beaumont Leys. “It is nice to see people enjoying themselves - it is what Christmas is all about, isn’t it?”

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The venue at LCiL community centre in Leicester’s West End was transformed into a winter wonderland by students and staff from #DMUlocal, while the Real Junk Food Project team cooked turkey and all the trimmings, or a vegetarian alternative.

Older people’s clubs from Leicester city centre, Beaumont Leys, Thurnby Lodge and Highfields were among those who came along to the event including Age UK and Thurnby Lodge Pop-Up Café.


Among them was DMU alumna Kathleen Morris – who went back to school in 2008 when she turned 60 to do a foundation art course at DMU.

“I loved it,” said the mum-of-five. “I got to go to New York with the students and the experience was fantastic. It was the best time of my life outside of having my children!”

Kathleen’s love of art has continued and she now helps run creative classes for Age UK.


Among the student volunteers were 10 members of DMU’s Hockey teams who helped set up the venue, serve dinners and chat to guests.

DMU Women’s Hockey captain Helen White said: “As a club we have made the decision to do more for charity and to help different causes and this is probably our biggest charity event before Christmas. We’ve had so much fun helping here today.”


Tennessee Renvoize, Computer Science student, spoke about why she decided to volunteer. She said: “Every year, I go home and my parents have cooked a massive Christmas dinner, bought loads of presents, everything is all laid out for me, and I always feel guilty that I don’t help. So I thought I would try to help others and reach out to the community around me.”

Liticia Gyawu, a third year Criminology student, is a regular volunteer and normally supports the Beaumont Leys youth club. She said: “Volunteering is about giving back. It’s been lovely to talk to the older people.”

Posted on Tuesday 11th December 2018

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