There’s just a few days to go until Christmas and at United Response we’ve been gearing up for it with lots of festive activities.

From carol concerts to market stalls to Christmas parties, there has been something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s the story of our Christmas Fayre in Stowmarket, which enabled people we support to welcome in the season among others in the community.

“A lovely day out”

The Christmas Fayre was held at the United Reformed Church in Stowmarket. There were lots of different stalls selling unique goods, but a favourite was a ‘Name the Teddy’ stand run by Colin, a man we support to live in the area.

Colin, who is deafblind, ran the stall and was able to interact with the public through tactile signing, with the help of hearing aids. He raised £80 on the stall alone and made a speech at the close of the fayre to thank the public for coming along.

“I had a lovely day out and wanted to thank everyone who came to help make the day a success,” said Colin.

Raising awareness of sensory loss

The Lowestoft Signing Choir came along to sing and sign carols, which helped to raise awareness around deafness and sensory loss.

The whole event was a fantastic way to showcase our services in the area and build greater connections with the local community.

Nigel Brown, a United Response service manager who helped to organise the event, said:

“It was a very successful event which helped us to maintain awareness of the people we support in Stowupland and to demystify what we do. Local people get to know the people we support and are less anxious about chatting to them – they realise they are good people to know and support.

“The event also raised awareness of sensory loss and provided a good opportunity to socialise, which helped potentially isolated people.”

Nigel and his team were awarded a grant to facilitate the event through United Response’s Small Sparks programme, funded by the Clothworkers’ Foundation and United Response supporters. These grants enable the people the charity supports to be active members of their wider community and form valuable friendships.

Fundraising for a good cause

As well as providing a wonderful, festive day out, the fayre raised over £500 which will go towards a summer house for people supported by United Response in Stowupland to enjoy.

Many thanks go to all those who generously donated items for our raffle including Brian and Val Mott, Stowupland Garage (Fast Fit), Tesco Stores (Stowmarket), Gammers, Skin & Tonic, Molly’s Top to Toe, Cutting Room, M & M Butchers, The Retreat and the many stall holders who also gave prizes.

We would like to wish everyone a very happy festive season!

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