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The Coming Together of Our Winter Party 2021

Please note: this post is 29 months old and The Cares Family is no longer operational. This post is shared for information only

Winter Party 3

Defining 2021 as turbulent is an understatement. Starting and ending the year on new waves of the pandemic made it feel like we were living in a metaphorical version of The Tempest. Though the drama of the year was certainly worthy of Shakespeare’s quill, it was also full of many magical moments and lots of love for the South London Cares community

Starting the year off on Zoom with a fully online social clubs programme meant that we were in for a big journey to get back to meeting face-to-face as the country opened up again. From a hybrid programme trialling socially distanced social clubs alongside virtual ones, to last minute changes when the 'Freedom Day' was delayed in June, to the reverting back to virtual clubs before Christmas, there were many challenges and changes to navigate. However, we and our neighbours embraced all the changes with grace and patience as we found our feet in the ever changing landscape of restrictions.

Before whispers of the government’s 'Plan B' began circulating, we had the great pleasure of safely holding a face-to-face Winter Party for our South London Cares community.

Thanks to local business Tideway we were able to put on a party like we have never had before. Not only was this exciting for all who attended, with a live brass band, tasty Jamaican food and incredible raffle prizes, it was a brilliant opportunity to support local organisations too.

Hosting the party at the spectacular Cinema Museum in Kennington enabled us to invite the entire community to celebrate together in the heart of South London. Using local Brixton caterer Caribe, we were able to provide everyone with a hot meal to enjoy around tables together with a delicious assortment of Jamaican food prepared by a fantastic chef, who took time out of her debut as a Masterchef expert judge to help us. We supported them whilst they supported us. Not only this, but our raffle was full of lots of generous donations from other local businesses.

It was a beautiful event that radiated everything that we as a charity stand for, bringing younger and older neighbours together to celebrate the season, and supporting other local organisations in the process. It was a great picture of the South London Cares community pulling together for each other.

Neighbours we had not seen since before the pandemic began came with huge smiles as they were reunited with old friends, whilst new neighbours who had only ever seen each other online were finally able to greet each other in person. There were so many heartfelt catch ups and some magnificent belly laughs as everyone spent time together, sharing a meal, toasting to the new year ahead and dancing the afternoon away.

Whilst the end of the year took a bit of a turn, we cannot forget the overwhelming joy that was felt by everyone at the Winter Party. It was an event full of hope for the future and we cannot wait for that future to begin in 2022.

Winter Party 2021