On Friday 9th February, Age UK Kensington and Chelsea celebrated the 10th edition of their Valentine’s Gala Concert. As part of their continuous work fighting isolation amongst those over 55, and with the participation of Opera Holland Park and the Intergenerational & UK Gospel Choir, they put together an amazing concert, because they believe that love, in all its shapes and forms, is the only way to combat loneliness.
Coordinating the volunteers on the day reminded me of the positive value of volunteering. Witnessing people from different organisations (FCA, Warner Music, UCL, Rotary Intl, EARNT) coming together, and for 4 hours, becoming a team to deliver this afternoon full of music, love, cake, and companionship (the best things in life!) for the over 350 guests. Guests, who at the end of the gala were singing along and spontaneously dancing. It was wonderful to see the volunteers having fun decorating, admiring the Chelsea Pensioners making an appearance, taking selfies with their old and new friends – and catering the most efficient afternoon tea I have ever seen! Their friendly attitude and eagerness to help was contagious and simply made the atmosphere ten times better.
I am very proud to have been part of this event; it was definitely an afternoon to remember that no doubt brought many friends together and ignite the development of new ones. It certainly did for me and reminded me of the importance of Valentine’s day, a day to celebrate the joy and sense of belonging when we are part of something bigger than us… a couple, a family or a household, or even our community. It is the human connection that we get from them what uplift us and makes us happy, which makes events and initiatives like these ones so important and valuable!
Ana J. Urbina R.
Volunteering Co-Ordinator At Age UK Kensington and Chelsea’s Valentine’s Gala