On Wednesday 4 December, our annual carol service took place at St Peters Church, Eaton Square.

As always the evening was fantastic, but this year’s service felt extra special, marking the end of our 40th anniversary celebrations. The Cheritown Warblers welcomed guests as they arrived, singing carols on the steps of the church, followed by an opening song by the acclaimed Seaford College Choir.

United Response President Martyn Lewis CBE talked about some of the extraordinary projects that have taken place this year, whilst guests held up pieces of coloured paper representing the 120 4tea parties our services held in the summer.

Martyn proceeded to interview some of those involved in our exciting 40th anniversary projects, beginning with Sue Kent, a barefoot masseuse, and Kelly Knox, model and winner of Britain’s Missing Next Top Model, who joined us to talk about Postcards from the Edges. Guests also had the opportunity to see the Postcards for themselves in a mini postcards exhibition at the back of the church.

Another big project this year was the launch of Easy News, the first ever newspaper for people with learning disabilities. Martyn Lewis interviewed Mandy Townsend and Ian Coley from Richmond Community Support project, who spoke about how they love reading each issue together with their support staff.

By popular request two more choirs returned again this year - the United Response Ipswich Deaf Services choir, who sign alongside Swanbank Musical Theatre. These choirs always prove a hit with people enjoying the experience of the two choirs performing together.

Finally, our CEO and founder, Su Sayer CBE, closed the event with a tribute to co-founder, Erwin Klinge, and a reminder of the impact United Response has on people’s lives.

All in all, it was a hugely successful event to celebrate a equally successful year. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the event, including a special thank you to our president Martyn Lewis CBE for hosting the evening.

Happy Christmas!

Lindsey Simmonds, 
Project Manager and PA to Diane Lightfoot

If you're feeling generous, find out more about our Christmas appeal - a plea for funding for our 'Movers and Shakers’ after-school club.

Read an alternative account of the carol service by postcard creator, Nathan Lee Davies.