On a crisp, cold day in early December, the sun rose encouragingly over the Girls’ School. Twenty committee members, one hundred volunteers and one hundred and fifty guests stepped into the Prevett Hall at two o’clock. But the familiar tiered seating and wide empty windows no longer defined the space –  it was instead transformed into an enchanted forest, complete with 18 tables set out for afternoon tea and a magical archway to enter through.

The Senior Citizens’ Tea Party is our annual charity event joint with the Boys’ School, and both committees prepared for months to organise the entertainment, quiz, raffle, bingo, decorations and invitations. As the guests filed in, they were each joined by an eager volunteer who spent the afternoon nattering away to them, hearing stories of times gone by and Christmases passed. The finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and biscuits were supplemented with a never-ending supply of tea, and the guests enjoyed the performances of students singing, playing the harp, and plucking their instruments to some gentle jazz.

The warmth and friendliness of the atmosphere in the Prevett Hall filled everyone with a seasonal cheer which left us as full of joy as we were of cake! It was a truly magical event; a rare coming together of old and young with food, fun and festivities. It was a day we will remember for several years to come, and although our dancing was put to shame by that of the guests’, we will never forget the kind-heartedness we experienced on that very special day.