Some of the guests together with Iglesia Ni Cristo members during the INC Neighborhood Appreciation Day held last May. (EBC UK Bureau)
By Paul Jacob Erese and Love Ann Sison
EBC United Kingdom
To mark Mental Health Awareness Month last May, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in Heathrow, United Kingdom, hosted a Neighbourhood Appreciation Day as part of INCGiving socio-civic project.
The Church and its members opened their doors to the local neighbourhood and surrounding communities in an effort to bring the community together in an uplifting, fun-filled family event. Many guests were pleasantly surprised with the kind gesture of the INC, meeting new people and making connections as the society moves on from the pandemic.
Guests were treated to an array of activities to suit their interest. Delicious meals and refreshments including unlimited bubble tea, heath check, art exhibit and popular fun fair booths such as Tin Can Alley and Toss-A-Ring were just some of the activities during the event.
There were also activities for kids. Parents took their young children to the ‘Kiddie Corner’ where kids can get creative in a safe and fun environment. Many guests also received hampers and gift packages containing self-care and household items.
Youth members played a big part as they ushered guests and entertained them through live performances.
Iglesia Ni Cristo youth members render a live musical performance during the Neighbourhood Appreciation Day in Heathrow, United Kingdom (EBC UK Bureau)
Ramna Sharma, a healthcare worker, praised the efforts of the youth in the event.
“The activities were great! I’m very, very much impressed with how many young people are involved in this. I don’t know how you do it, but you are doing a fantastic job”, she said.
There were personalized buntings and home-made interactive games. Hand-made and beautifully crafted works of art in black-and-white theme brought the art exhibit to life as people took pictures, using them as backdrop for their photos. Guests can also access numerous INC materials in printed form and through video presentations where they can gain an insight on how they can tackle common challenges faced by many in today’s world.
According to the organizers of the event, the Neighbourhood Appreciation Day highlights the importance of social events to reduce feelings of loneliness and depression and the negative effects these can have on an individual’s physical and mental health.
A group photo of Iglesia Ni Cristo members and their guests at the Neighbourhood Appreciation Day held last May 2022 (EBC UK Bureau)
Emmanuel Essien, a sports enthusiast, enjoyed the friendly atmosphere. “This activity brings people together…knowing that you’re not alone…it’s a great opportunity and a good practice just to be around people…”, Emmanuel said in an interview.
“Neighbourhood Appreciation Day” is regularly held by INC members throughout the world.
(Eagle News Service)