Published: 23 December 2021
There was a joint event for Westminster’s and Kensington and Chelsea’s looked after children.
Sarah Newman, Bi-Borough Executive Director for Children’s Services for Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea who attended the event said:
It was wonderful to all be together to celebrate Christmas. The young people told me they enjoyed meeting new people and it was just a great moment for all the staff and young people from both boroughs to catch up and have a great time.
Westminster has also put together a photo calendar for looked after children which will be presented to young people at an online event this Thursday.
One photo in the calendar is from ‘Tuesday Group’, a weekly event led by the council where looked after children come together to socialise and learn life skills such as cooking and enjoying a delicious meal together.
One care leaver who attends the weekly group said at the joint celebration:
I’ve met a lot of lovely people and lifelong friends from Tuesday Group. If you told me I’d be here talking to so many people years ago, I would have never believed you because my English wasn’t good and I didn’t have confidence.
Schools in Westminster have also organized various festivities for the closing of the Autumn term.
Westminster City School was one school who resumed its annual Carol Service. The school enjoyed a joyful return to Westminster Abbey where musical highlights included the school wind band belting out ‘Deck The Halls’ and the school choir singing ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’.
Many schools also utilized the end of term to help local charities. This included Marylebone Boys School. Yosef, pictured below, in Year 11 led the school’s Christmas charity drive collecting donations from the school community of toiletries, clothing and food for those in need over this festive period.
This year also saw the return of in person nativity plays. St Vincent de Paul School (pictured below) held their school nativity at the Sanctuary of Westminster Cathedral.
Other activities in the Westminster school community included St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School singing virtual carols to residents at a local care home, the return of St Matthew’s CE Primary School’s annual Christmas Market and St Augustine’s CE High School’s reverse advent calendar.
Councillor Timothy Barnes, Cabinet Member for Young People and Learning at Westminster City Council said:
After last year’s limited celebrations, I’m so glad that this year, children and young people in Westminster along with dedicated teachers and staff have been able to safely enjoy their end of term celebrations both in person and online.
All children and young people deserve a fantastic Christmas holiday this year along with their teachers, staff, parents and carers and I hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing break before returning in the New Year.