Young offenders spread festive cheer to older people in west Leeds

Picture caption "Young people spread Christmas cheer amongst elderly west Leeds residents."

Leeds’ West North West Youth Offending Team has been spreading a bit of Christmas cheer to older people in west Leeds this year by organising a Christmas dinner with a restorative flavour.

A group of ten young people who are involved with the council’s youth offending team volunteered to prepare a slap up Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for the Farsley ‘Live at Home Scheme’, a local charity that works tirelessly to provide support and companionship for some of the area’s elderly residents.

The young people made all the decorations, planned the menus and shopped for the best value ingredients as well as preparing and serving the festive fayre to the 17 elderly diners .

The meal took place at Farsley St. John’s Church Hall where the older people were also entertained by local musician Karl Mullen, who played a selection of old favourites throughout the afternoon, culminating in a good old Christmas sing along. One young volunteer also hosted a game of Bingo to keep the revellers entertained.

Stephen Maw from Leeds City Council’s West North West Youth Offending Team said:

“We were all so impressed with the hard work and dedication these young people put in to making it such a special day for the elderly residents. They were all very professional and the whole day was much appreciated by the Live at Home group. There was hardly a dry eye in the house when one resident made an impromptu announcement to thank all the young people.

“The event was a resounding success and we are already looking forward to doing it again next year.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“This is a really heart-warming situation, where youngsters who have found themselves in trouble, have taken a really positive step by putting in a lot of effort and giving up their spare time for the benefit of others. Proving that with the right help they can start to turn their lives around.

“These young people set a great example to other youngsters, showing such fantastic initiative and great community spirit.

“It sounds like they did a wonderful job looking after and entertaining these older people and spreading a bit of Christmas cheer. I am sure they have made Christmas extra special for their guests.”


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk