DMU Local volunteers bring Christmas cheer to elderly and vulnerable


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It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students have been helping to spread Christmas cheer to the elderly and vulnerable.

Nearly 100 people were treated to a Christmas dinner at a special festive lunch laid on by the university’s public engagement team DMU Local, held at the Leicester Centre for Integrated Living (LCiL) in Leicester’s West End.

Christmas pic

The annual event – now in its fifth year - sees students and staff transform the venue with decorations, and organise performances by the Square Mile Community Choir, organise games and even arrange a visit from Father Christmas.

Among those enjoying the event were older people’s clubs from Leicester, Musgrove Day Centre, West End, Thurnby Lodge, Age Concern branches and community groups including people with learning difficulties.

Leicester organisation Perfectly Edible put together an incredible three-course festive menu. DMU Local volunteers Laura Toher-Hindle and Shazia Yakub ran the event.

Alainya Knipe, second year Fine Art said: “I want to be a teacher so I love getting involved in any community work. This is my favourite event, it’s nice to watch people singing along to the carols and enjoying themselves.”

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Jamie Betham, Computer Science student, said: “I’m in my last year and I didn’t do any volunteering for the first two years and now in my final year I wanted to do something. This event was so popular there was a waiting list for volunteers. It’s a nice feeling that you are doing something for the community.”

Pensioner Graham Smith, a regular at the West End neighbourhood centre, said: “I’m enjoying this. It’s nice to have a big get-together and for people to have the chance to meet and chat.”

“Sometimes when you are older, and you don’t see your family so much, you can get stuck indoors for days on end and not see anyone, so these things are something to look forward to,” added grandmother Chris Dale, from Highfields. “I have enjoyed having a good chat and met some very nice people here. The choir were brilliant.”

Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019

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