One of my favourite times of year is having the privilige of being invited to the amazing Christmas lunches at the BME elders groups.
The MX Elders and Golden Agers are incredibly ambitious and between them have fed around 150 elders at two events!
What's remarkable is that these two groups are all volunteers and the entire feast is prepared, cooked and served by group members, the eldest cook being in her 81st year. This year, Gloria Watson and Cherry Hartley masterminded the MX Elders dinner. Joseph Morris ( who won awards at both CAF and Neighbourhood Partnership with his wife Gloria) headed the busy team at Golden Agers.
For the second year running, I donned my pinny (handmade and purchased from the Golden Agers Craft fair the week before) and helped served the food. I love it. Team work at it’s best! Soaking up the joy and absorbing the true spirit of Christmas.
The food was amazing at both events – soup for starters, 6 choices of meat, all the trimmings and a choice of puds. All cooked on site and with a Caribbean flavour.
The spirit comes from the younger and more able elders caring for those with infirmities, some in their 90s. It is the true sense of community. There is love all around and a real sense of belonging.
The Christmas lunches are not just about the fine cooking but are about reducing isolation and inviting older people to feel that they belong. For some it will be their only outing this Christmas and maybe their only Christmas lunch.
At Evergreens, there was a delightful bring and share afternoon celebration which was much appreciated by all.
The African Caribbean elders care for each other and are welcoming to all, regardless of race, faith and culture. Long may the elders continue to demonstrate peer support, care and companionship. This is social prescribing!
Shelagh Hetreeed BME Elders Sustainability Worker