It was our Christmas meal on Saturday with our clients. We took them to the Christmas Celebration in the Botanical Gardens and then we all had a lovely Christmas dinner. It was a new venture for us and we had arranged to meet clients at Ben’s Centre. We had the usual risk assessment making sure that clients were not too intoxicated. This involved having to say no to some clients, bringing with it the predictable disapproval (a polite way of explaining their reaction!) It was pretty in the gardens and the clients were very child-like in their responses and gave them some good excitement and anticipation of Christmas. The meal was successful too and as the staff team served them all it hopefully made them feel special and part of Ben’s family. We gave out presents which had been put under the Christmas tree and they were very well received. For the men we had bought jackets. It was a delight watching them open them and then they all had to try them on. You knew you were on a winner when you saw their reactions. The ladies, of which we had four, which was a surprise as we had only expected two at the most, received beautiful brightly coloured bags with perfume and make-up inside. They were very pleased too and were comparing what perfume it was and we all had to be sprayed excessively! Our aim was to have our Christmas ‘event’ earlier this year to separate it slightly from the big day even further, as it always brings a lot of memories and sadness up in client’s lives. I think we pitched it right and although it involved a lot of hard work and management it was well worth it. Hopefully when client’s think about Christmas it will be remembered with less pain this year, and perhaps remembered for a time of fun, belonging and being cared about.