Christmas fun at YMCA DownsLink Group - YMCA DownsLink Group

Christmas fun at YMCA DownsLink Group

Best Group Shot

There has been a lot of festivities across the organisation this week, from Christmas tree decorations to winter hamper making, and of course, some delicious roast dinners!

We’re over the moon to have received so many photos and positive messages about how everyone has been celebrating and the many ways in which our residents have been coming together to take part in festive activities.

We want to transport you across the organisation to see how each area has been celebrating so far…


Eamonn Hannon, Senior Project Worker, tells us more: “We ran an Xmas meal for the service on Tuesday 20th December. Mel managed to snag a sensible donation of food from Tesco having created and forged a valuable community partnership. Mel and two of the residents were instrumental in preparing the veg and assisting Mel in making what was a simply PERFECT meal for the service.

Some service users were too shy/anxious to join in but they were not forgotten and food was delivered to them too. Not only did the service users enjoy a Christmas dinner of Turkey, Beef. Lamb and Gammon, but the veg options were exhausted too – from mashed swede and carrots, roast carrots and parsnips, cauliflower cheese, broccoli cheese, roast potatoes, to my special addition – Brussel sprouts cooked in lardons and leek – impossibly good. The service was spoilt further by a selection of desserts, from homemade trifle, chocolate yule log and other various cakes.

Mel has really gone above and beyond to make today special for the service users, and it worked!! Tiffany Card, Bank Worker, and Louise Owen-Thomas, Service Manager, also got involved and ensured the day was a roaring success. Merry Christmas from at Eastbourne YMCA!!!”


Christmas hamper makingChristmas tree with lights and decorationsResidents doing christmas baking

Mel Haynes, Deputy Projects Manager, organised daily activities for the residents at Horsham Y Centre including wreath making, Christmas baking and making hampers for friends and family. They have also turned the Y Centre into a winter wonderland again this year, including around 50 Christmas trees! See below for a tour of Horsham’s Christmas wonderland.

Samantha Burton, West Sussex Chaplain, also told us: “The London Road Methodist Church in Horsham held a Community Christmas Tree festival over the weekend, and this is the tree (pictured below) that we included from the Y Centre & Chaplaincy. The words on the plaque are words used by staff and residents to describe the Y Centre”.

Brighton & Hove 24-hour supported accommodation

Menorah and Christmas tree

A menorah and Christmas tree at our 24-hour supported accommodation in Hove. While candles are not usually used in projects, this was lit safely under the guidance of a Jewish volunteer Chaplain !


Christmas tree with lights and decorations

The decorations in Guildford were organised by Jessica Griffiss, Inspire Coach Guildford, with the help of some residents. A nice combination of World Cup and Christmas.

Grove House, Hailsham

Christmas tree with lights and decorations

The Mayor of Hailsham, Councillor Paul Holbrook, visited our young people and staff at Grove House, Hailsham, to personally deliver a Christmas tree. The tree was kindly donated by Hilliers Garden Centre – organised by Justine Harmer, Project Worker. The Mayor helped decorate the tree, alongside some residents.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made this Christmas so special for our residents. And we hope you all have a lovely end to the year, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or just taking some time to relax. 

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YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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