Christmas has officially arrived at Headway Suffolk with the creation of a Winter Wonderland at its Ipswich hub to spread cheer and joy at the end of a very tough year for staff and clients.
With clients missing out on the traditional carols service and lunch at St Augustine’s Church and the Christmas party at Haughley Park due to Covid, staff have been busy in their own time turning the Ipswich hub’s main room into a festive treat for Headway’s clients.
The Winter Wonderland has been handmade from scratch with clients involved in craft sessions to create Santa’s Grotto, nutcracker, away in a Manger, Snowmen, a fireplace, Christmas countdown, model village, nativity displays and candles in memory of those who have passed away, complete with a hand sanitiser station.
Anne, a client at Headway, said: “I didn’t think we would have much cheer this year, but as usual the staff have gone the extra mile. It certainly has the wow factor!”
Ellen Burman, a Brain Injury Rehabilitation Assistant who led the project, said: “It was great that all the clients got involved and it was nice they had something to look forward to. They were excited to see it finished. It was a massive team effort from everyone.”
Chief Executive Helen Fairweather stated: “The staff have worked so hard this year getting us through Covid. It is remarkable that they still had energy, time and skill to create Winter Wonderland. We are so lucky to have such caring staff.”
The charity, which supports adults living with acquired brain injuries, strokes and neurological conditions, is facing a shortfall of £100,000 this year due to lost funding from social care and the cancellation of fundraising activities, while seeing more referrals with long Covid.