Christmas spirits were kept high for the serving personnel and families of HMS Calliope in 2013, thanks to a series of festive fundraising events.

The first event saw the Ship’s Company collect gift donations from friends, family and work colleagues, before wrapping them up into festively decorated shoeboxes. Donations from this first event went to local charity the St Vincent de Paul Society, which runs a facility that provides accommodation for homeless men - some of which are ex-forces veterans.

A Naval-themed quiz, won by HMS Calliope’s Wardroom team, also boosted up takings on the night.

Carol service

The second event was the Ship's Company annual carol service led by Father Geoff Driver, during which the Ship’s Company, as well as relatives and guests, enjoyed a traditional carol service sing along with modern themed readings based upon the nativity story written by Dylan Thomas.

The audience was further entranced by Heather Jill Burns, a Mezzo Soprano and recent graduate of ENO Operaworks, who performed a Christmas aria.

Families’ Christmas party

Finally, HMS Calliope’s fantastic year of festive fundraising culminated in a families’ Christmas party, organised by the Ship’s Company committee and funded by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and The Sir Donald Gosling Maritime Reserve Amenity Fund (DGMRF).

The day included exquisite face painting for children and adults alike, a bouncy castle and giant games. A selection of fantastic food and a raffle was also appreciated by everyone in attendance – not least Santa Claus, whom of course made a welcome appearance. Santa spent time giving each child a gift and presented a prize for the best child and adult ‘winter warmers’ outfits.

The Ship’s Company thank everyone for their support throughout the festive season and look forward to fundraising once more throughout 2014.