Being away from home can be difficult at any time, but especially at Christmas. The staff at Bluebird House wanted to make it a positive experience for the young people in their care by providing presents, activities and food over the festive period.
Bluebird House is a specialist, secure mental health inpatient unit, providing assessment, treatment and care for young people aged 12-18 years.
With Brighterway funding, the staff put on a range of activities for the young people, starting with a “Gentlemen’s classy evening”.
Dressed up for the occasion in suit & tie, they drank at a non-alcoholic swing bar, played chess and ate fine meats and cheeses. Accompanied by smooth jazz music and a video of a roaring fire playing in the background.
The night was proven to be a big hit with the young men, with one of them describing it as “the best evening they’ve ever had”
In the lead up to the big day, they also enjoyed a retro games afternoon. The service purchased a new Sega mega drive to play original Mario or streetfighter – which resulted in laughing at the low quality and mimicking the age of the staff!
The Christmas fayre was described as a “lot of fun”, with the young people cooking different snacks for the buffet. They also played games whilst the band played Christmas songs.
Although some of the other young people are not fond or do not celebrate Christmas, the funding allowed the team to still buy them “non-Christmassy” gifts to show that they care.
“For these young people in such a stark environment with no family visits or decorations it was really important to us to show them we care” commented Aaliyah Williams, Occupational Therapist.
Aaliyah picked the Christmas pantomime as her favourite activity. “This year the young people identified they would like to adapt Shrek to be a Christmas pantomime and worked hard over 6 weeks developing a script, their characters, making sets and shopping for costumes.
It went down an absolute storm and we’ve carried it into the New Year as a regular drama group!
Overall the funding really helped us make Christmas at Bluebird House a little bit brighter so I would just like to say a massive thank you to the charity!”
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