Youth centre party to ‘unite the community’

Oxford Mail: The Forum supporter worker Maxine Dancey Buy this photo » The Forum supporter worker Maxine Dancey

A KIDLINGTON youth centre will host a festive celebration later this month that aims to bring the whole community together.

Youth workers at The Forum, which helps disadvantaged and disabled youngsters and their families, plan to bring up to 100 of their users together for the party.

But they are also opening the free celebration on Saturday, December 21 – which will include a disco, crafts, Father Christmas and real reindeer – up to the wider community.

The youth club has held individual parties for each of its groups at Christmas in previous years but this will be the first time they have all been brought together.

Support worker Lucy Hanblin said: “We normally have separate little parties to acknowledge Christmas with all our groups.

“We thought why not put it all together and have everyone together to show the community what they have got and what a fabulous place Kidlington is.

“We are doing this to help people create links within their own community, support each other and come together through a positive experience.

“Communities used to be much smaller and have more groups and it was easier to make these things happen.

“It is something we often lack as a society now.”

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Fellow support worker Maxine Dancey added: “It is really about bringing the community together and hopefully making people recognise the importance of that and showing we can all be there for each other.”

The event will take place between 2pm and 5pm and organisers hope at least 200 people will attend.

It will feature Father Christmas – who will give out presents to the children attending – two real reindeer, a disco, craft stall and raffle. Before the public party, all 100 of the service users will be treated to a Christmas dinner together, featuring turkey,crackers and Christmas pudding.

The dinner has been made possible thanks to donations from local businesses and £1,500 from Kidlington councillor Maurice Billington.

Oxfordshire County Council members are each given money to spend in their respective wards and Mr Billington decided to spend his cash on the dinner.

He said: “It is for the needy of the village and there are quite a lot of people going, so it is well worth the money.”

He added: “The party is a very good idea. It will bring the community together – let’s hope we get a good crowd.”

For more information about The Forum, which is based in Oxford Road, and the party, contact 01865 375555

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