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“The perfect way to tackle lonely winters”
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“The perfect way to tackle lonely winters”

Nahiyan Syed PashaSpreading holiday cheer and winter hospitality gave Nahiyan Pasha, 16, a Correspondent from Ilford, UK, opportunity to appreciate the work of the elders in our communities, and how fellowship can express thanks and give comfort.

Amidst the cold and lifeless British winter day, a warm bright light shone through as the organisation, Community Heroes, held their first ever event on the 27th of December to celebrate the triumph of the elderly.

The organisation, whose main aim is to ‘recognise the humble’, set up a lovely event in the India Garden restaurant in Wanstead, with the intent of celebrating the contributions of the elderly, who are also more likely to suffer from loneliness during the British winter. With many young volunteers helping out, and people from a range of different backgrounds present, it was clear to see that no barriers such as age or race could stop everyone at the event enjoying themselves and working together to make it a pleasurable experience.

heroes3Throughout the day, there was a lot of food served to the elderly and opportunities for the elderly to socialise with the young volunteers and each other. It was lovely to see people as young as 10 talking to people as old as 70, and to hear a lot of laughing and telling of stories in their conversations. There was also lots of Christmas music played to keep the festive cheer going, as well as some live entertainment from aspiring young musicians.

The new charity aims to recognise the work of the unsung heroes in the community and make some individuals recipients of an honorary award in a grand annual award ceremony. Community Heroes aims to also organise occasional social events for groups, raise employability skills for volunteers, and hold talks to the youth, amongst other work. The action packed event was supported by other organisations such as PlanZheroes and Tesco Woodford.

heroes 2From attending such an event, my eyes opened to realise just how much the elder society worked hard to lay the foundations upon which the young generation can flourish, and the fact that many things we young people may take for granted today are things which the elderly did not have. The fact that many of these older ‘heroes’ find themselves alone and without people to talk to during a time of year like Christmas made me really appreciate the work which Community Heroes carry out.

The Commonwealth houses people of all ages, and I feel that although the young are often considered the future, it is very important for everyone to appreciate and respect the past. This event had made me realise that all though people may have different ages, and therefore different levels of knowledge and experience, the one important thing that we all must do together is support each other, and appreciate each other’s warm company, especially during cold periods like winter.

Photos: courtesy of Nahiyan Pasha and Community Heroes

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About me:  Through my roles in the youth council, my school, and also through charity work in my family’s organisation, Community Heroes, I like to help people and make changes for the better within my society.

I like to play football, and hope to go into medicine. I like technology a lot, and find myself fiddling with new gadgets all the time! I am currently taking 13 subjects and studying for my GCSE exams in the summer.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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