Tis the season to be jolly for hostel residents

Festive fun is being enjoyed by all this Christmas as Nottinghamshire YMCA’s homeless hostel delivers a series of events for residents staying at the charity’s supported accommodation.

Everything stops for tea!

The seasonal activities were kicked off on Thursday 29 November by three students from the University of Nottingham’s Kettle Society, who kindly volunteered their time to host an afternoon tea-tasting session at the charity’s city centre hostel.

Complemented by an array of cakes and festive treats enjoyed beside a Christmas tree, residents were introduced to a wide range of different flavoured teas as they sampled beverages spanning from Lady Grey and Darjeeling to more festive cinnamon blends.

That is not to say those with a more severe palate weren’t catered for! Biology student Graham Smith sportingly concocted some top quality fresh coffee for attendees to try, which proved highly popular with the residents.

A lovely personal touch was added by mathematics student Katherine Holmes, who thoughtfully put together gift sample packs to offer as Christmas presents to residents who could not attend the session and those who simply loved the event.

And the festivities did not stop there!

Ice-skating and free massages…

Adopting a wintery theme, the city centre accommodation joined forces with staff and residents from the charity’s Mansfield hostel for an afternoon of ice-skating.

Throughout December, (Level 2 and 3) beauty therapy students from NCN College, in Nottingham, also came along to deliver a series of free massage and beauty pamper sessions at 4 Shakespeare Street. The 15-minute massage slots were open for both residents and hostel staff, with fully decked-out pamper stations set up in the city centre hostel’s Training Kitchen for privacy and to create a calm atmosphere.

Treatments on offer included everything from hand and arm massages to nail therapy and over-clothes back and shoulder massages. In addition to treating residents to a personal moment of quiet relaxation and indulgence, the aim was also to help hostel staff members unwind after they have worked so hard all year to ensure the safety and positive wellbeing of everyone within the hostel.

Decking the halls

Celebrations at the residents’ Christmas meal on Friday 14 December started with a glittery bang as everyone sang along to tunes performed by a live band, which decided to shake things up by playing everything from seasonal carols to folk classics. With a quick musical detour to serenade ‘Happy Birthday’ to one of the hostel’s young residents, attendees then took to a wonderful buffet that had been excellently arranged and organised by the fantastic hostel staff team.

Particular praise goes to Beckie King, whose hard work and dedication in pulling this programme of activities together has made a significant difference to boosting the wellbeing and festive cheer within Nottinghamshire YMCA’s city centre hostel.

Nottinghamshire YMCA would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated a gift to our hostels this winter to ensure every resident receives a present to open on Christmas Day. Together, we really can change lives.

Merry Christmas!