“What a brilliant night, what a great turn out!” Bob Allen said of the Community Christmas event organised by the Matson, Robinswood and White City Community Partnership last Friday. About 200 children and adults brought lanterns big and small for the start of their lantern parade from Matson Library to Matson shops where hundreds more residents then joined the fun.
“It was a fantastic night. The lantern parade was emotional... It was great to see so many children from school and staff” said Alison Walker Head of Moat School . Schools, community and residents groups had taken the opportunity of free lantern making workshops across the area in the lead up to the event thanks to support from Matson Gateway based artist Soozy Roberts, Harriett West from Artshape and Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT).
The whole event had started from conversations at Culture Matson partnership three months ago when residents and partners where sharing their hopes and plans for a positive community Christmas. In typical local spirit, everyone joined up their plans and did it together.
Matson’s oak tree was lit up with stalls all around as choirs and beat boxers sang carols. Santa’s Grotto was beautifully created by Together in Matson and proved really popular, and the Matson Gateway supplied hundreds of free hot chocolates , cakes and freshly made soups. “I feel so proud to live in Matson” one resident said at the end of the event.
Mark Gale of GGT summarised: "That sense of belonging and collaboration and how it brings success in our communities is what we will all take into 2020. We have to come together to make life better and our Community Christmas has definitely helped make this happen."
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