After such a long time with restrictions on socialising, Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) was finally able to host one of the year’s key events – the Extra Time Hub Christmas Party – and welcome two special guests.
Everyone in Extra Time, staff and Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard came together for a day of feel-good fun. Last year, the Extra Time Hub members missed out massively by not being able to get together for Wednesday sessions, events, or their Christmas Party. Although they continued to engage online, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially difficult and isolating time for older members of the community.
But that made this Christmas Party even more joyful. Seeing the room packed full of people coming together - laughing, smiling, singing, dancing and winning some tasty prizes in the raffle - was incredible. The Christmas spirit was radiating from The Valley.
Everyone donned their Santa hats and reindeer antlers and got involved with the activities on offer. To begin with there was group singing, ending with a very loud rendition of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. Some members volunteered to serve teas and coffees and there was table tennis and bowls for those feeling a little competitive.
For many, the highlight of the party was definitely the music and dancing. The Extra Timers gave all their energy and got up on the dance floor, loving the Christmas songs from the band. Thomas even joined the band on guitar for the last few songs!
Extra Timers then sat down for a 3-course meal of soup, a roast dinner and chocolate pudding, served by Thomas, Dr. Raelynn Maloney and senior staff from CACT and the club. Then came a raffle with prizes of chocolates and wine, and bingo with cash prizes. One lucky partygoer sat on a seat with a golden ticket, winning them a signed Charlton shirt! It really was a fun-filled day. What more could you want from a Christmas Party?
Extra Time participant Cherry Gouder said: “It was another brilliant party. Good food. Great music. And brilliant company.”
Dot Walker added: “Thank you Matt, Linda and Jack and all the other people who helped make today's Christmas party and dinner extremely enjoyable for everyone who was there today. You really do show us all how much you care each and every week.”
The Extra Time Hub is a programme for retired and semi-retired people in the community, run by CACT and commissioned by the English Football League (EFL). Participants attend varied activities on Wednesday mornings that help them socialise and engage in active ageing. If you fancy singing, dancing and playing til your heart's content, come along to an Extra Time session.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or come down to a Wednesday session from 10am-12pm at The Valley. Sessions cost £3 or £10 per month.