'Together at Christmas' Market

What a wonderful evening!

Last night Hove Park School and local charity, Time To Talk Befriending, hosted a Christmas Market to raise much-needed funds for our 'Together at Christmas' charity lunch, taking place on Christmas Day. It was a delightful community evening, with plenty of festive cheer.

The money raised will go towards 'Together at Christmas' where staff from Hove Park and Time to Talk Befriending will be giving up their Christmas Day this year to serve Christmas Dinner, to 60 of our local residents, who would normally be on their own at Christmas.

Many thanks to all those who helped organise the market, to the sellers and your amazing stalls, and the local community who came to support us and grab a bargain or two!

Emily Kenward, CEO of Time To Talk Befriending, had this to say:

Although the feeling loneliness can affect people of all ages, at Time to Talk Befriending we witness first hand just how damaging this feeling can be. We meet amazing older people every day who have a rich life history to share, yet for the majority of our 287 scheme members, before being connected to the charity, could go for weeks or months at a time without seeing anyone. We hear things like ‘I don’t want to live anymore’ or that people feel they have ‘no purpose’. Experience also tells us that Christmas can be the most emotive and lonely time. Remembering loved ones who have passed or memories of days gone by... we therefore can’t advocate enough the need to tackle this serious life threatening issue of loneliness in older age, head on! It was amazing to see such a huge turnout at the Hove Park School Together at Christmas Event and it is a privilege to partner with the school on this and hopefully more intergenerational projects, in the future.

Head teacher, Jim Roberts, said:

As a school we recognised the impact that loneliness and isolation can have on older members of our community and we wanted to make a difference, so teamed up with local charity Time to Talk Befriending, to come up with the idea of providing Christmas dinner, on Christmas Day, for residents that would otherwise be on their own. We also wanted to demonstrate the value and importance of kindness and looking after each other. The Christmas Market was an opportunity to raise much needed money to help support our Together at Christmas event and at the same time bring our community together. As I arrived the newly formed staff band were playing and the hall was full of families, friends and students, all having a great time. It was a really lovely evening that I’m sure will become a regular fixture in the school calendar, for many years to come.