The sound of yuletide carols filled the air yesterday when residents from local care homes enjoyed Brentwood School’s annual festive tea party.
The popular event, organised by the School’s Community Service Unit, proved once again that age is just a number, as pupils from the First Year upwards joined their visitors for a foot-tapping sing-song of all the Christmas favourites. And it was an extra special afternoon for Mrs Kit Knight, a resident at the South Weald Almshouses, whose 82nd birthday was celebrated with a special rendition of Happy Birthday. Mrs Knight was joined by her South Weald neighbours and dozens of residents from Seven Arches, The Squirrels, Leonard Lodge, and The Marillac who were accompanied by some 20 staff and family members. The afternoon was organised by Sixth Formers, alongside Fourth and Fifth Year students, who were responsible for the decorations, entertainment and serving of food and drinks.
Regular attendee, 80-year-old Mr John Samuel, said he never missed the tea party and really looked forward to the event. “I have been coming to this ever since it started. These carols take my memory back!” he said. Mr Robert Jenkins, Head of the CSU, said: “The pupils visit local homes on Friday afternoons to chat or play cards with residents and just be a companion. Involvement in the CSU helps them to relate to people of different ages. This tea party is a nice way for the guests to get out and meet other people.”
Second Master, Mr David Taylor, and Director of Music, Mrs Hilary Khoo, led the enthusiastic sing-along and were joined by various soloists, the School’s String Octet, Girls’ Choir and other music groups. Mr Jenkins added: “We are really grateful to the carers for all the effort they put in to make it possible for so many to attend. Of course this year we are especially grateful to both Mrs Khoo and Mr Taylor both of whom have been absolutely central to this event’s success.”