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Happy Memories of Christmas at asphaleia care’s Reception House

The Christmas Holidays can be a very difficult, sad and lonely time for many people. Some of our UASC young people at our reception house in Worthing have had to endure much sadness and trauma in their lives at such an early age, and are missing their own families.

For Christmas 2018, we planned two treats for our young people in our reception house. On Christmas day itself we had arranged for the young people to attend a christmas party celebration in Brighton through the Refugee Council at the Global Centre. The young people who went came back reporting that they had a really good time and made new friendships with other young people from their countries.

On boxing day, Theresa cooked a fantastic traditional Christmas meal. The young people all got involved with food preparations, some had never seen a brussel sprout before and one young person made the stuffing balls to go with the meal. Theresa reported that he found this highly amusing and was laughing all the way through.

The aroma coming from the kitchen was delightful, Theresa remarked how lovely it was to see all the young people  helping, some helped by stirring the gravy others by cutting veg.

“When is dinner ready?” They would keep asking… One wanted to begin carving the turkey before it even got to the table. This made Theresa think of her own childhood Christmas dinners and she felt proud to be part of building a good memory for what, for some of these young people, was their very first Christmas experience in the UK.

We served a dinner of roast turkey, parsnips, peas, carrots, roast potatoes and, of course, sprouts. which reluctantly were tried but not enjoyed. They were left on the side of the plate!

The table was dressed in a special way for this occasion. There was much laughter and conversation. We pulled crackers and wore silly hats and laughed at the cracker jokes. Theresa explained what the ‘Pulling of the Wishbone ‘ was  and pulled it with the young person who made a wish. Apparently some of them said they also do this at home.

For another young person it was said how determined he was to use the cutlery, he explained that in his village they only ever ate by using their hands, his big beaming smile showed how happy he was. Theresa was touched to hear this and said what a wonderful achievement this must be for him to sit round a table like this with others as he usually eats alone.

The meal ended with ice cream and mince pies. All the young people thanked Theresa for the lovely meal and they all took their part in washing and drying the dishes. The laughter and cheer continued well into the evening.

One of the young people asked: “Please can we do this again?”

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