By Kristine Kivle
On the 30th of November the Ustinov GCP volunteering team was fortunate to participate in the Nevilles Cross Christmas festival. Followed by several weeks of planning, organising and other preparations the festival was a great success. Throughout the afternoon, both local and non-local families, children, students and adults came together to kick off the holiday season. It was a great way to build a bridge between the College and the local community and really get to know our neighbours. We were not only accompanied by humans, but also had a visit from Elvis the Reindeer, two beautiful owls and Santa and his elves.
It was a lovely festival filled with Christmas spirit, tasty treats, arts and crafts as well as Christmas music and other entertainment. For our international students it also gave valuable insight into English Christmas traditions and an opportunity of cultural exchange. All together it was a lovely experience for all involved and put us all in the right Christmas spirit. Our team was also involved in creating the Sheraton Park advent calendar in cooperation with the local community. The calendar is a beautiful display of arts, culture, traditions and Christmas spirit. The calendar can be seen in the windows at Ustinov College throughout December.
As the Head of the GCP Volunteering team I would like to thank all volunteers for their efforts and help with the Christmas festival. I also want to thank the local resident’s group for embracing us and including us in the project. I would further like to extend a particular thank you to Mandeep Smith for all her efforts and coordination with the project! Follow our Facebook page for more info on the Christmas Festival: https://www.facebook.com/nevillesxchristmas/ You can also read what the local newspaper had to say about the event here: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/17273246.christmas-festival-lights-up-nevilles-cross-in-durham/?ref=fbshr&fbclid=IwAR3rF9Hh_mMWr_7ZG1oL8ZlP4TV7VxR9P0k7Z8lFrtL8uFdt8g_bZbAAaFY