Winter Community Dinner 2019
On the 21st of December, Fitzrovia Youth in Action hosted their final event of 2019, the Winter Community Dinner, bringing local older residents and families together to celebrate the end of the year.
The end of year event aims to bring people from across the community together to celebrate as this time of year can be quite isolating and lonely young people and older residents. Over 200 people were welcomed at our grotto and escorted by youth volunteers to their seats. The audience included members of local organisations One Housing, North London Cares, We Are Aging Better in Somers Town, families and parents from Remix Dance group and local residents local to Fitzrovia Youth in Action. They were entertained and served by 65 youth volunteers acting as stewards. Performers included Emma Illunga, Rebecca Promise, Kiyan, Francesca and Remix Dance group, and 4 of the organising team were brilliant hosts, keeping guests entertained all evening.
The event was organised by a group of 13 young people, who worked hard from October. They organised everything from the promotional material, the activities at the event, the decorations and theme. Utilising feedback from the event the previous year, activities included bingo, face painting for children, guess the sweets in the jar, a raffle, karaoke and a photobooth. The top prize for the raffle was a tv that had been donated, which was coincidently won by a family who sadly had just been burgled.
They also designed an activity pack for children at the event and a decoration making session for some community members. Decorations were then made with older residents from One Housing, young people at HPOD Healthy Living Drop in and corporate volunteers from Pharmagenesis. On the day they allocated their team roles to ensure a smooth event. Some took the lead on creating the film for the event and social media, others lead catering, hosting the stage or leading customer service areas. Thanks to donations from Entertainment One, Derwent London, Forbidden Planet and UK Youth x Oliver Bonas, every guest was provided with a gift bag.
The steering group have all gained certificates in event management, leadership, customer service and public speaking (if they hosted or did the steward briefing) but the group have also bonded and provide each other with brilliant peer support. They have decided as a team that they wish to continue volunteering and will be continuing to develop skills as part of our Peer Education project.
We would like to say a huge thank you to our funders Derwent London and Lottery Community Fund for enabling this event to happen!
Feedback from guests:
92% of guests stated that the event was good or brilliant, with 60% stating brilliant. 74% of guests stated that the met people at the event they had not met before. Key highlights mentioned was the level of customer service and enthusiasm by young people, the bingo, the food, the performances and the positive vibes and great atmosphere. 55.74% increase in community belonging
‘Not having family, it was nice being with people for Christmas.’
‘The young people who welcomed us took such great care of us. Very polite and a credit to FYA.’
‘Meeting people, being entertained and having fun – a joyous Christmas Gathering’
‘Enjoyable day, tasty cooked food, excellent, presented well, organised well done. Massive thank you’
‘I am writing to say how hugely I enjoyed this afternoon’s Christmas lunch, and am just so very grateful to have been invited. As far as I’m concerned the whole experience was truly perfect, so thank you yet again.’