The 1882 lounge at Turf Moor played host to the annual Extra Time Christmas party recently, as over 60 participants of the weekly social session joined BFCitC for an afternoon of festive fun.
The annual event is a firm favourite in the Extra Time calendar, as guests enjoyed a three-course dinner, sing along Christmas Carols, games and music.
In addition to the festivities, Burnley FC’s Dwight McNeil surprised guests before joining in with the party games and posing for photographs and signing autographs.
In a competitive game of Christmas Pictionary, Dwight even went head to head with Extra Time’s David, with help from the audience!
During the past season, 105 senior citizens enjoyed Burnley FC’s official charity’s weekly Extra Time sessions, aiming to tackle issues such as loneliness and social isolation, as well as helping to increase participation in physical activity. This year at the party, a gift tag was left on every table for guests to write down the reasons they enjoy coming to Extra Time, with the tags then hung on the Christmas tree, with reasons including:
‘To the staff and Burnley FC. So many thanks for the Christmas Party you put on for the over 50’s group. It’s our first year of attendance & Alan loves coming, meeting his friends and playing dominoes. It has made a great difference to his new life. I am so very grateful, you have put a lot of effort and time into this.’
‘Great service in the community. A place to meet people. Approachable, friendly staff. Thank you!’
‘I enjoy very much playing games, making friends, socialising and coffee & chat. Love it, thank you.’
‘It’s a break from my normal routine. I analyse the Burnley matches with people who are fans, I also talk about other subjects with people who are not.’
‘Friendship, laughter, games, lovely staff. Look forward to Wednesday mornings!’
Head of Health & Wellbeing, Abby Turner said: “This year’s Extra Time Christmas Party was another great success! It’s always a fantastic occasion to celebrate Christmas with our participants, staff and volunteers. Plus, it’s extra special to be joined by a Premier League player like Dwight McNeil!
“We’ve had another great year with Extra Time as we’ve welcomed some new faces and incorporated new activities into the sessions including chair aerobics, cooking classes at the Burnley Community Kitchen, a tour of the Leisure Box, planting seeds for the night garden at Whitehough Outdoor Centre, mindfulness sessions and french classes.
“The Christmas Party offers us an extra special opportunity to celebrate the year at Turf Moor and everybody was in good spirits and enjoyed themselves.”
In the spirit of Christmas, the guests also brought food and toiletries with them to the event to donate to those in need at Christmas, with over 260 items donated and delivered to the Burnley Community Kitchen.
Extra Time takes place every Wednesday morning from 10am-12pm in the Jimmy McIlroy Stand at Turf Moor. The sessions are free and aimed at the over 50s of the community.