Members of the award-winning Interact Club from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College (QE), Darlington, have welcomed older members of the community to the College for a Coronation themed tea party. As the residents of Ventress Hall Care Home and Abbeyfield Society entered the building, they were greeted with the aromas of delicious, freshly baked treats, including cakes and scones, as red, white and blue bunting hung from the ceiling and table cloths featured Union Jack designs. Supported by Darlington Town Mission, a local charity which aims to reduce isolation and provide companionship for the elderly, and by the Stronger Communities Fund, the event saw a wonderful performance by second year student, Ava King, who sang an array of classics, concluding with Somewhere Over the Rainbow. There were also Coronation-inspired games, from a royalty quiz to Buckingham Palace bingo, as generations came together to celebrate King Charles III.

Lauren Hebden, Assistant Missioner at Darlington Town Mission, comments: ‘These outings for people over the age of 80 are invaluable. It may be the only time that they leave the house which makes them even more important.’ Margery, who benefits from the work of Darlington Town Mission, thoroughly enjoyed the party. She adds: ‘I love coming to the College as I don’t get out much. It’s lovely to be here to mark the Coronation.’

First year student, Bella Tait, who studies A Level English Literature, History and Law at QE, helped to organise the event. ‘It was great to see everybody and for us all to be united by the Coronation,’ the 16-year-old enthuses. Eleanor Westlake, who is in her second year and a student of A Level History, Politics and Psychology says: ‘It was such a rewarding experience to be able to provide the residents of Ventress Hall Care Home and Abbeyfield Society with a memorable afternoon and help them celebrate the Coronation in style.’

Nancy Wall, Interact Club and Student Services Co-ordinator at QE, concludes: ‘It was a fantastic day! We love hosting events and activities for older members of the community as it brings so much joy and what better way for us all to honour the Coronation of King Charles III than with a cup of tea, some cake and laughter. The students involved were brilliant and did themselves proud. We hope to see everyone again soon.’