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Good neighbours get together at Christmas

CELEBRATION: Centenarian Levi Hamilton and Lesley Allen, club co-ordinator.

PREDICTIONS of snow and bad weather was not enough to prevent pensioners from the Stockwell Good Neighbours club from enjoying a festive get together.

More than 40 people gathered at the Oval House Theatre in south London for a tasty meal followed by a rousing rendition of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas among other songs.

Led by Lesley Allen, club coordinator for the past 18 years, members enjoyed a programme of entertainment and celebration
throughout the day to mark the last regular Monday meeting of the year. Those present celebrated both the Christmas season and the joy, energy and vibrancy that people as old as 104 embody and JN Bank and The Voice staff members were on hand as volunteers to help them do it.

The JN Group and The Voice team, led by executive and director Paulette Simpson, and JN Money managing director Horace
Hines were among those who were invited to participate in the day.

PARTY: Dianne Augustine, of JN Money Services, in conversation with pensioners


In addition to bearing gifts, the team undertook many roles to ensure that the regular support team from the Stockwell Good Neighbours were helped in making it a memorable day for the pensioners. Cheers rang out for Vic, Debbie, Cleveland and John who were assisting in the kitchen and Police Community Support Officers Annie, Derrick and Jerry who were all recognised by the club for their support throughout the year.

Among the club members in attendance was Eustace Stevens, a retiree who worked in the building trade for 33 years after his arrival in the UK from Jamaica on the SS Belgravia in May 1962 who spoke of his love for the club.


Other club members also shared similar sentiments. Club member Ann Daley said, ‘This is the best club’, and as a retiree who originally hails from Old Harbour in Jamaica, she said there was no other group that offered the support and love she feels within the group. It was a view shared by Turid Powell, a club member of five years, who said Stockwell Good Neighbours were “simply the best around’’.

For Alex Clarke, operations manager for the Ovalhouse Theatre, it was another enjoyable occasion to be with the group with which he has had the pleasure of working with over the years.

DANCING: Leon Hamilton, of JN Bank, dances with a member

As the day came to an end, Lesley Allen, a former mental health nurse, said that club members had stolen her heart and she couldn’t see herself doing anything other than helping to bridge the gap for people in later years of their life who needed love, care and attention. She thanked all who had attended and extended Christmas greetings while quickly looking ahead to another planned event for another group on the weekend.

As people departed, 100-year-old Levi Allen recited Psalm 91 and conveyed his blessing to all in attendance. It was clear that a good time was had by all.

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