Young and old come together to celebrate Christmas at Henry Cort party

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IT WAS back to school for scores of senior citizens as they celebrated Christmas with a party.

The annual event has been held at Henry Cort Community College, in Hillson Drive, Fareham, since 1988. And yesterday about 50 elderly people packed out the school hall for this year’s knees-up.

Maddie Stokes, 14, with Doreen Hammacott , 78, left, and Josie Broadhurst, 61, at ''Henry Cort Community College ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151985-5727)

Maddie Stokes, 14, with Doreen Hammacott , 78, left, and Josie Broadhurst, 61, at ''Henry Cort Community College ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151985-5727)

They were treated to an afternoon of entertainment put on by pupils from all years.

Among the pupils serving the guests were friends Maddie Stokes and Abbie Warner, both from Year 10.

Maddie, 14, said: ‘It is good because some of the older people don’t get to come out a lot and they don’t get to interact with younger people.

‘It is good that they know the younger generation are not unfriendly.

‘There was one woman who was 100 years old and all she wanted to do was to hold my hand. It was really nice to give her that chance.’

Abbie, also 14, added: ‘It is nice for all the people to come in to school and enjoy Christmas with us.’

Pupils hand-made all the culinary treats, such as biscuits and mince pies, while some of the younger students were waiting on tables.

Taylor Campbell, from Year 7, dressed as an elf and served tea.

The 11-year-old said: ‘The old people have been very pleased and respectful. Some older people don’t really have a lot of people to talk to and it is nice to talk to them and make them feel nice inside.’

The afternoon entertainment was put on by students and included piano performances, stand-up comedy, singing and violin playing, plus much more. There was also a game of bingo and presents were handed out.

Older people from sheltered accommodation and care homes across Fareham came to the event, such as Collingwood Court, Osborn Manor, Hunter’s Lodge and Merry Hall.

Enjoying the event were friends Doreen Hammacott, 78, Josie Broadhurst, 61 and Vanda Barnett, 68, from Collingwood Court.

Mrs Broadhurst said: ‘It is good that the kids are getting involved.’

Mrs Barnett added: ‘They are all trying so hard to please us. It is nice to see the different age groups mixing.’

Principal Claudia Cubbage, who took over the role in September, praised the event, which has been organised by director of studies for Year 11 Margaret Boyne for 27 years.

Mrs Cubbage said: ‘This puts back something into the community.

‘The children love it and it bridges the gap between the older and younger generation’