‘The Usual Place’ Wants You To ‘Switch On and Smile’ This Christmas

The Usual Place, a training café in the heart of Dumfries, is on a mission to save Christmas cheer!

Gail Kempsell, a mentor at The Usual Place, is developing a campaign called ‘Switch On and Smile’, which aims to bring families and the whole community together for the festive period.  Gail thought that this would be very important this year in light of the difficult circumstances that we have all been working through.

The Usual Place is asking all households in Dumfries and Galloway to join in by creating a small window display, in their home, using fairy lights.  At 6PM on Sunday 6th December, we can all light up Dumfries by switching them on together and having our very own ‘switch on’.

Everyone is also encouraged to take part online, by sharing their photos, videos, and stories across social media.  If you take part, please tag The Usual Place and use #switchonandsmile when uploading your photos and videos.

You can find The Usual Place on Facebook and Instagram (@attheusualplace), and on Twitter (@theusual_place).

When asked about her reasons for the campaign, Gail said:

At The Usual Place, we are not giving up on Christmas, especially after such a tough year, and this is something to look forward to.  A wee thing like £1 fairy lights can make a huge difference on dark nights, and it’s so easy for everyone to join in!”

The campaign has already brought The Usual Place team together while they drum up some excitement.

The Usual Place aims to support and enable local young people with additional support needs to achieve their life goals through the provision of vocational training and education opportunities.

All of the trainees have expressed their excitement to work on the project, and had a lot of fun drawing their festive pictures that feature on the three posters developed for the campaign.

One trainee had written “Please keep safe so that Santa is safe when he comes to your house!”  A sentiment we can all get behind.

Afterwards, the trainee said: “I was excited to do the picture and loved what I wrote on it.  I want to stay safe while having fun this Christmas!”

The trainees have also worked with Gail to produce a musical jingle.  This jingle has been written alongside the trainees and will be performed by the trainees.  We hope that the jingle will be heard across social media and even on the radio soon!

James, who wrote and performed the backing track for the jingle said “I was ecstatic when I was asked to play my drums for the song, and it was fun to be a part of even if it did make lots of noise!”

We hope that you help us continue to make lots of noise!  If you intend to take part, you can let us know through any of our social media channels.

As Gail said, “Lets all come together and give our town and ourselves some Christmas sparkle!”


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