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Festive Celebrations

Published on 05 January 2024 12:10 PM

Age UK Gloucestershire's Age Friendly Community Groups

Thanks to the generous support of our partners and funders The Julia & Hans Rausing Trust, older people were able to join in festive celebrations around the county! 

Holiday Inn

A festive feast for the members of the local community who now average over 50 members a week, thanks to the generousity and community spirit offered by the Holiday Inn Express, Cheltenham. On this occassion we hosted 80 plus for a Christmas celebration and were entertained by the Age UK Ukelele group along with our very own guest star, colleague and talented Ellie Scrivens, who provided a Christmas sing-along for our guests. A great celebration of what we’ve achieved together this year and a chance for people to come together, celebrate with new friends and make plans for the New Year  


Our Tank group has only been running for a few months & we started with just a handful of people. The group has now grown significantly to 15 regulars, plus we have a Digital volunteer who attends regularly & who also acts as the “meet & greet” volunteer. The Tank was not able to provide Christmas refreshments, so the group decided to go to Bills for a Festive meal, where we were well looked after. One of the members has recently had a stroke, but the group means so much to him that he was determined to come along & join the fun! One of the group told me that it had been the “highlight of my Christmas” & could we please pass on their thanks to the Rausing Trust for the generous donation. The festive meal really cemented the friendship and support the group offers each other & plans were made to catch up over the holidays & numbers were exchanged. 

Cuppa with Jane

The group meets informally fortnightly & have bonded over coffee & good conversation & company. They decided they would like to go to the Lord High Constable in Gloucester Docks & 15 of us enjoyed each other's company in a festive atmosphere. A new member was able to rearrange his wife’s care, so that he was able to join in, telling me that it’s “very lonely being a carer, especially at this time of year”. It was so special to see everyone laughing & having fun. Members had previously told me it had taken them a long time to get the courage to join the group, their self confidence being lost during Covid lockdowns, so it was extra special to see them joining in & having fun. 

Black Bear

The social group at the Black Bear in Tewkesbury has been running since October of 2023 and has around 17-20 people attending each week. The character of this historic pub in combination with the way the manager and the team have welcomed us to become a part of the social life at the pub make every meeting feel special.  

The group was delighted to be able to celebrate a Christmas party even though they have only been going for a short time. Two group members helped with gathering ideas and organising the party. The party was attended by 37 people in addition to about 15 members of the Roses choir. The Roses choir was invited by one of the group members to sing carols with us. Following the carol singing one of the group members had also organised a quiz which everybody really enjoyed. All participants of the Christmas party were provided with a free drink and mince pies and other small cakes. It was a lovely morning of singing, laughter and for many an opportunity to meet new people. 

After the meeting people who are regular members shared what a good time they have had and many of those who came for the first time said that they enjoyed it so much that they would like to come again.  

Ageing Without Children

The AWOC group (Ageing Without Children) is a group for people to come together who have never had children, by choice or circumstance, have been estranged from their children or have no support from children for other reasons. The experiences of people who don’t have support from children or grandchildren are often overlooked, this group is an opportunity to raise awareness and for people to connect who share this experience.  

We usually invite speakers to join us for our monthly meeting at the Holdiay Inn in Cheltenham but took the opportunity at the Christmas party to just have a small party together. 9 people attended the party where we enjoyed drinks and mince pies. The group was appreciative to have been given the opportunity to have this celebration and to enjoy a good time together. Due to the size of the group everybody was able to engage with the conversation and improve their connections with each other, it even created the space for people to make plans for activities they want to do in the new year with each other. It felt that everybody really enjoyed themselves and left with a positive feeling and something to look forward to.  

The Keepers

Eight ladies joined us at the Swan Hotel, Wotton Under Edge on the 11th of December to share a celebration lunch togetherThis was the first time the group had been out together, and they thoroughly enjoyed spending time with each other in a relaxed, comfortable environment whilst enjoying a delicious and excellent value lunchThe ladies enjoyed chatting about their Christmas plans and reminiscing about Christmas traditions in their families. The venue also provided the opportunity for them to reminisce about different periods in Wottons history as they looked at the old photos of the area whilst at the same time meeting a young family with a small baby celebrating his first ChristmasOne lady commented as she was leaving “Thank you so much for this, it has been so lovely, I feel like I have celebrated with some real friends when I am usually on my own.” 

Click to find out more about our Age Friendly Community Groups!