Nothing signals the approach of Christmas more than our annual Christmas Carol Concert. Held at St Peter’s Church on Eaton Square in London, the event has become a favourite tradition over the years, and for many it’s the highlight of their year.

 

The concert opened with Seaford College Choir – a prestigious group who have previously performed with Gary Barlow – singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ by candlelight, before United Response President Sir Martyn Lewis presented his welcome speech.

 

This year’s service showcased three people from ROC – Therese, Ian and Claire. ROC is a Devon-based charity for people with learning disabilities, which from 2017 will be part of United Response. Their interview signalled the start of a new partnership, and a reflection of the close bonds which have already been formed over the past year.

 

A local success story

Later Ashley and Debbie, two of the Cheritown Warblers from Kent, highlighted the successes they’d had in bringing the community together. The singing group – who greeted people with their voices outside the church – has even achieved local media coverage, and boasts around 20 people regularly coming along every week.

 

Everyone got involved in signing along to ’12 Days of Christmas’, performed by Swanbank Music and the United Response Ipswich Deaf Services Choir. This was followed by Su Sayer CBE, Founder of United Response, reflecting on the history of the organisation.

 

Celebrating the year’s achievements

More carols were enjoyed by all, before Tim Cooper, CEO of United Response, highlighted all of the achievements from 2016 – including former United Response News Correspondent David Allkins securing a job with Cornwall County Council, and the relaunch of our Postcards from the Edges campaign.

 

As the event drew to a close, lots of people made their way upstairs for mince pies and refreshments, catching up with old faces before heading home. A good evening was certainly had by all.

 

Thank you to everyone who came along – we managed to raise a total of £1,050.07 (before Gift Aid) on the night! This will go towards our Christmas appeal, which is raising money for communication aids for people with disabilities. 

Donate to our Christmas appeal

 

Get your handmade Christmas decorations

For those who are looking to put the finishing festive touches to their home, have a look at what the people at the Boot Shop in York are making. They’re taking orders, and can ship to anywhere in the UK. Just call 01347 823 242.

View more Christmas items at the Boot Shop