Charity provides all-singing Christmas cheer for its members

97 members and guests of local charity, Opening Doors, were treated to a Christmas lunch with a musical flavour at the Majestic Hotel in December.

Following their festive lunch, members of the group, who are all older, disabled or have a sensory impairment, enjoyed listening to the children of Saltergate Junior School, Harrogate, singing carols. Many diners joined in with the choir, who sang traditional carols and modern Christmas songs.



Rachel MacKenzie, Service Co-Coordinator for Opening Doors, said:

It has been a very uplifting experience to see different generations brought together in this way. From the youngest choir member aged seven to our oldest client, everybody has enjoyed this musical entertainment.

Joining generations: Youngest Saltergate Junior School Choir member, Paige Clark, age 7, enjoys chatting to diner Jane Poulton,100, at the Opening Doors Christmas Lunch
Joining generations: Youngest Saltergate Junior School Choir member, Paige Clark, age 7, enjoys chatting to diner Jane Poulton,100, at the Opening Doors Christmas Lunch 

Diner Jane Poulton, who at 100 is the most senior member of the group, is a regular at Opening Doors events and commented:

The lunch is a way of getting out and I enjoy the food and company. It is a real pleasure to see the children and we love to join in with the singing.

 

Amy Dobriashan, year 3 and 4 class teacher at Saltergate Junior School, added:

The children have been rehearsing hard and they loved singing for members of our community today.



Since it began 15 years ago, Opening Doors has assisted older and disabled people in Harrogate to remain independent by providing them with accompanied outings on social and leisure trips, as well as to medical appointments. The Christmas lunch is just one of the regular outings laid on by Opening Doors, supported by a team of volunteers.

Rachel added:

Our thanks goes to the army of dedicated volunteers who assist our clients to get out and about throughout the year. We are also grateful to Benfield Motor Group whose drivers provide ongoing support transporting our clients to and from events.

Opening Doors supports around 70 people and has a team of 21 volunteers who enable the clients to get out and about. It is just one of the services provided by the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) which was launched in 2011, bringing together three services which provide support for older people and those with a disability to remain independent in their own homes. Opening Doors along with Help at Home and Carers Time Off are partly funded by a Big Lottery Fund grant and are supported by an army of volunteers.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the service, or becoming a volunteer, should contact Rachel MacKenzie or Anna Woollven on 01423 813095 or help@harcvs.org.uk


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