Festive fun and games working for Duke of Edinburgh award in Portsmouth in 1978

Ten Portsmouth senior citizens who lived alone and faced a bleak run-up to Christmas experienced some great yuletide spirit when some students turned up.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 2:43 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 7:22 pm
The two faces of Christmas - Nigel Brown, 18, and 81-year-old Lily Ralph combine to generate some yuletide spirit.

Six marine engineering students, who were preparing for their Gold Award in the Duke of Edinburgh training scheme, asked the pensioners at Gatcombe House residential home in Cosham to get involved with the seasonal beano.

For the whole afternoon, the pensioners and students enjoyed a Christmas tea party, as well as singing Christmas carols.

Charles Dearling, 82, from North End summed it up: ‘They’re a grand bunch of lads. I really can’t remember when I enjoyed myself more. Normally I do everything for myself but today everything was done for me. They deserve a jolly good pat on the back.’

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‘I wasn’t expecting anything as nice as this,’ added 81-year-old Lily Ralph.

The D of E activities were launched in industry in April 1978.

Nigel Brown, one of the students, said: ‘It has been fun and everybody seems to be having a good time.’