It’s ‘the most wonderful time of the year’… yet for so many, this simply doesn’t ring true. So this Christmas we’d like promote the gift of kindness. It doesn’t have to come in the form of material gifts; you can be kind with your time. It’s about realising that not everyone feels blessed, that not everyone feels excited.
At Our Lady’s we support various charities throughout the year and in December we’ve been playing our part to show kindness; supporting several charity initiatives in the hope that we can make Christmas a bit more bearable for those who are struggling.
We received some really uplifting feedback following our ‘Young at Heart’ party on Friday 6 December. We invited the older generation in our community to come and join us for Christmas lunch and entertainment and everyone was in high spirits making for a thoroughly enjoyable few hours. Every party guest was presented with a gift, which were very well-received.
Catherine Lowe said: “Thank you to the staff and children for a wonderful time. First time for me and hopefully, with the grace of God, I will be there next year. The present was really good and the beautiful Christmas card is lovely. Thank you all once again. I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.”
Sheila Garvey said “Thank you to Tracey Burke and all the students for a lovely afternoon. They always look after the ‘Young at Heart. We have been going for several years now and always enjoy it. Thank you also to Karina for my lovely gift and card. Wishing you a Happy and Holy Christmas.”
Tracey Burke who organises the event each year said; “Thank you to all our lovely guests. We loved having you all and you are all very special to Our Lady’s community. God bless.”
On Wednesday 18 December we supported Christmas Jumper Day in aid of ‘Save the Children.'
For a 50p donation to the charity, staff and students could wear their Christmas jumpers. As well as being a fun day to get everyone in the festive spirit – it coincided with Christmas Dinner Day – the fundraising aspect shouldn’t be under-estimated. Just £2 (four Christmas jumper donations) could buy enough antibiotics to help five children fight pneumonia; one of the worlds’ deadliest killers. Or it could make sure a child can go to school. Or support a young person forced to leave their home, to build a new life. It could give hope and you can’t put a price on that.
Across the year groups we have also been collecting food, toiletries and warm items of clothing to support various charity initiatives including the Lalley Centre Christmas Hamper appeal, St Claire’s Church foodbank and Coffee for Craig – an incredible service run for the homeless. Each evening they operate an out-of-hours drop-in service in the heart of Manchester City Centre. They offer support, food, drink, food parcels, showers and medical support alongside mental health crisis intervention.
We also once again support Hits Radio's Mission Christmas appeal to collect toys and gifts for children across Greater Manchester who would otherwise recieve nothing on Christmas Day because for their families, just getting by each day is a struggle. It is important to reflect at this time of year on how fortunate we really are and contributing to these collections highlights how blessed many of us are.
There was great excitement at Our Lady’s when our Christmas single ‘Wonderland’ was released for download worldwide! The song is written by our own highly-talented year 11 student; Andreja Bielskyte with lead vocals by year 10; Joy Donne Dieu (Delores from our Sister Act production 2019), backing by the Voices of Our Lady’s Choir and instrumental accompaniment provided by Our Lady’s students (Andreja Bielskyte and Leander McPherson) and staff (Mr Addington)
The first 12 months profits going to MacMillan Cancer support so we are working hard to get as many people to download the single as possible. It is now available on all major streaming/download sites.
Speaking of the decision to donate some of the proceeds to Macmillan, Andreja said “It has hit close to home as many people have to go through cancer which is tough and even more so at this time of year. I want everyone to have a Happy Christmas. Thanks to Mr Banham, Miss Prince, Mr Addington, Joy, the school choir and everyone who has supported our Wonderland project.”
Andreja’s words ring so true – we want everyone to have a Happy Christmas. So whilst it’s easy to get swept up in all the commercialistion and materialism of the season, let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas. And remember, a little kindness goes a long way and is the best gift you can give.
Thank you for your continued support throughout 2019. We wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas. See you in 2020!