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Community Foundation hosts Christmas Presence festival

Christmas is a time of year best spent with family and friends - but it can be a particularly lonely period for those whose loved ones are not around.

For the last three years, Bristol Sport’s clubs and charities have endeavoured to tackle this issue with the Christmas Presence campaign – an annual project aimed at resolving loneliness and social isolation over the Christmas period.

The campaign launched in 2017 and is aligned with Bristol Bears Community Foundation’s Golden Memories programme.

Players from Bristol Bears, Bristol Bears Women, Bristol City Women and the club’s associated charities, headed to St Monica Trust’s Monica Wills House care home for a festive celebration of community collaboration.

Joining them was the stunning choir from Victoria Park Primary School, volunteers from Bristol corporate firms, Hargreaves Lansdown and EY, and a hamper full of festive cheer.

“With the unbelievable success of last year’s campaign in raising awareness, and the impact of the festival at Monica Wills House, we’re absolutely delighted to be back here again for the third year of Christmas Presence,” said Golden Memories programme manager, Kris Tavender.

“With mince pies, Christmas carols and some light physical activity, we’ve had another incredible day here.

“Over the last three years, we have developed our Golden Memories programme to target some of the most vulnerable members of our immediate neighbourhood.

“The key message is around tackling loneliness and social isolation at Christmas. It’s about making contact with people and touching base with them – people you may know, or people you may not know, it’s about giving everyone a chance to speak to, and be around, people at Christmas.

“As always with Christmas Presence, we’ve been extremely blessed by the support of our professional athletes and our community teams from across the Bristol Sport family. People aren’t here because it’s their jobs, they are here because they have a true heart for what we do.”