Amy Deer is Greenfields’ Business Solutions Manager and, finding herself unusually with no major commitments over the festive period, she decided to volunteer for two local Christmas activities that help to tackle loneliness:
“With no caring commitments, long-distance journeys to make or nieces or nephews to look after, I decided to do a couple of things over Christmas to help the community.
The first was to deliver a donated gift to a Greenfields resident as part of our Gift Appeal. He was absolutely delighted to receive his gift; he shook my hand and said: “Thank you very much” and how kind it was. It was lovely to get out of the office and meet one of our residents as it’s not something I get the opportunity to do much in my particular role. I think the gift appeal is a lovely idea and it’s so great that it reached the numbers it did.
Due to us exceeding our target for gifts donated, the remainder were taken to Pasha Café in Braintree for their party on Christmas Day to welcome the homeless, lonely and isolated. I decided that this was another good opportunity to volunteer. Hazel, the owner, was delighted and said: “Yes please!”
I popped in before Christmas and met Hazel and some volunteers from Chosen Women Outreach, the café’s partner charity. The café has a lovely community feel to it, with lots of friendships being made there over the years. The volunteers I met were amazing and busy going around the nearby shops asking for donations for the party.
I went along on Christmas Eve to help to peel the vegetables with eight other volunteers. There was impromptu dancing at one point, where I was completely out of my comfort zone – but I did it! I agreed to help on Christmas Morning and it was great to see so many volunteers giving up their time.
I served a gentleman who came in for breakfast and was just happy to be in the company of other people. I left a couple of hours later as there was an overwhelming number of people there to help, but the next day I saw how successful the event was from the photos and videos on Facebook – there was even dancing in the street in the afternoon (obviously I was little relieved not to be part of that!)
The next day I bumped into a gentleman who I had met at the party. He told me what a wonderful time he had, and how it was the best Christmas he had ever had. That made my day and I will certainly be looking for more ways that I can give my time to the community this year.”
Take a look at photos and videos from the Christmas Party on Pasha’s Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/PashaCafeBraintree/