NEWS » 600 attend Growing Up Italian in the UK Christmas Party
600 attend Growing Up Italian in the UK Christmas Party
There was a massive attendance for the the Christmas party and the
Bazaar organised by the Facebook group “Growing up Italian in the UK” on the 6h
December 2015 at Villa Scalabrini.
The event was packed as 600 people came from all over the UK as far away as from Manchester. Thanks to people's generosity over 3000 pounds were raised for Villa Scalabrini. It was a great success for the first gathering event of the “Growing up Italian in the UK” Facebook group, and it left everyone looking forward to the next chance to meet again.
The participants were mainly from the Facebook group, “Growing up Italian in the UK” which boasts 6,881 members. The group was created two years ago by Franca Bongiorno Roberts. Her cousin Roberto Durso is one of the principles in managing the group and was Franca's Partner in organizing this fantastic Christmas charity party. Franca told us that it was amazing how massive the event was and how there was immediately a sense of being part of a family. After 2 years since the Facebook group was created this was the first time people actually met. It was as if they'd always known each other and when it was time to go home people didn't want to leave! The Facebook group had created a strong sense of belonging and familiarity giving the impression that meeting up was just a natural consequence of sharing posts and photos every day. Franca told us that she would like to organise many other meetings for whoever feels part of the Italian community in the UK as what she is hoping to achieve is a proper culture identity for Anglo-Italians.
The day started at 11am and finished at 6pm, Padre Alberto also took part.
There was a charity raffle of which the prizes were donated by kind generous people. Among the prizes there were: tickets to Disney on ice, a salsiccia maker, tickets to the Eden project, Franchi seeds, signed memorabilia from Chelsea football club, wine and champagne. The winner of the raffle could choose among the prizes. OGI had a stall selling sports articles to support “Olimpiadi della gioventù”.
There were also about a hundred children entertained by Santa Claus, a bouncy castle, and arts and crafts activities. Franca told us that when she was a child she always wanted to go to a get together like that, and seeing children playing happily together was like a dream become true.
Italian food was obviously a must: Arancine from Sicily, pizza, salsiccia, pancetta, cannoli, and many sweets.
Let's hope this will be just the first of a long list of activities bringing together the Anglo-Italians in the UK!