27th Seasonal Celebration to go ahead despite closure of Day Centre
The closure of Chiswick Day Care Centre has delivered a huge blow to the community but has not deterred Pauline and Leanne Hart from hosting their 27th Pensioners Alone at Christmas party.
The exceptionally popular event for local senior citizens has been held at the Day Centre for the past 26 years.
“We have had to find a new venue which can accommodate disabled facilities such as no steps, disabled toilets, car park facilities etc,” explained Pauline. “We have found a pub in Acton who have offered us their function room for our Christmas Day party, but have had to restrict the numbers to 80 people.
“As there are normally 60 guests, we only have space for 20 volunteers, 10 of which have been occupied by the committee who organise the parties all year around, and drive mini-buses and cars on the day.”
The Goldsmiths Arms, on East Acton Lane, will play host to the 2011 event and will serve the senior citizens a traditional Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings. They will also be doing all the setting up before had and clearing up afterwards leaving Pauline and her daughter Leanne with their lightest work load for over two decades and a very well earned rest!
Due to the nature of the new venue, they are restricted on volunteer numbers and are unable to accept young families and children.
They are however looking for car driver volunteers on the day and financial donations which can now be done via the Pay Pal facility on their website www.pensionersaloneatchristmas.com. All donations are spent on providing the parties. Support from Committee members and Helpers is voluntary.
Having worked in the Home Care Service for many years, Pauline Hart realised that many elders 'gave up' after Christmas, going into residential care or dying. She believed that this was because they had sat alone Christmas day missing their families and friends.
Pauline discussed with a group of local people what she had seen and it was agreed to hold a Christmas Day Party at the Local Youth Club Centre, it was a great success.
In 1985 the Party was moved to Chiswick Day Care Centre so that those who use wheelchairs and mobility equipment could move around safely.
In January 2000 they held a Millennium Party for 70 guests.
They are looking forward to many more years of Parties for our Senior Citizens.
November 23, 2011