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Whittington Park 1

Santa (Jeffrey Howse) at Whittington Park Community Centre with Sheila Buckley, 67, left, and Jennette Marslin, 71; below: Roger Llewillin, left; Angela Reith playing piano with Loan Tran

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Published: 16 December, 2016

Lunch fit for kings at Whittington Park

THE Over-60s lunch club at Whittington Park Community Centre held their Christmas party on Tuesday. “It is the highlight of the year,” said project developer Loan Tran. With an appearance from Santa and a sack of gifts, carols led by local musician Angela Reith, mince pies, wine and a dinner fit for kings, festivity was bouncing off the walls. But of course, most important to the jollity-factor were the members and volunteers, who like Roger Llewillin, 64, were taking the celebrations seriously. Roger travelled the world working on P&O cruise ships for 30 years, before becoming a road sweeper for Camden Council. Since losing his partner, Tyron, to Huntington disease a few years back, social groups such as the lunch club have become an important part of his life. Still full of laughter, it is characters like Roger that make these lunches – a crucial lifeline for many older residents in the local community – complete. More details of the lunch club at

A sackful of fun in Barnsbury Square 

Santa at the Friends of Barnsbury Square Gardens party

SANTA Claus stopped off at Barnsbury Square Gardens recently for the annual “Friends of” Christmas party. Dedicated volunteers put together a delicious spread for the local community who enjoyed banquet tables of food and mulled wine. Santa’s Grotto, presents and all, caused a particular stir with the children and ensured a big turnout. The day was complete with singalong carols and dogs dressed in Christmas jumpers. “It’s worth all the work on our part,” says Jo Arden, 57, who has lived off Cloudesley Road for 25 years and helps organise events for the Square. “Everybody loves it – it’s terrific to be able to give something back to the community.” Find out more about Barnsbury Square Gardens at

Crafty Dorcas ladies’ Christmas Fair

Dorcas Art Club entrepreneurs Rita Dixon, Jill Sullivan and Rhoda Fong at St Mary’s Church Christmas Fair

AFTER weeks of hard work, the Dorcas Befriending Charity Art Club sat back and let the punters role up to their stall at St Mary’s Church Christmas Fair last Saturday. A poor bus service on the day prevented many of the art club ladies from attending and Jill Sullivan, 78, Rita Dixon, 72, Rhoda Fong, 74, and teacher Faye Zubaidi, 74, did well to break even. “That’s all we really wanted,” says Faye, who has led the class for some years now. The Art Club’s next project, supported by the Local Initiatives Fund, will be making two large mosaics at the New River Baptist Church where their art class is held. FCV Dorcas Befriending Project is a volunteer-led scheme offering a service to older and disabled adults in the community to enhance their quality of life. The Art Club runs on Thursdays, 2-4pm, at the Bridge Centre, Arran Walk.


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