Most of the information on this blog is aimed at Volunteer Managers and Coordinators, but this post is for anyone who wants to give a little of their time over the Christmas period.
For many years, South Derbyshire CVS has mobilised a team of volunteers who are cooking Christmas dinner for their own family and who offer to cook an extra portion and deliver it to a local person who might otherwise not get a dinner. Many of the recipients of dinners have, in the past, had no other visitor on Christmas Day.
This year, all the other organisations across Derbyshire who have provided this matching service in the past have dropped out. In some cases because they perceive that the need for such a service no longer exists and in others, because they have concerns about the possible risks of this project.
Here in South Derbyshire, we are well aware of potential risks and are taking steps to minimise them, but we cannot accept the view that there is no need for this service. For this reason, and because we have a volunteer who has helped to coordinate this project for years who won’t be at all happy if we didn’t go ahead, we are the only Volunteer Centre in Derbyshire, and maybe in the whole of the East Midlands, who is coordinating a Christmas Dinner project this year.
Again, from past experience, we know that some families have had their conscience pricked when their elderly relative has been referred to this project, and have rallied round to provide the meal themselves. But there will always be a small number of people who have no-one else.
We fully expect to have more offers of volunteers than potential recipients, and we are very grateful to everyone who offers to provide a meal. It’s only by having a big pool of volunteers, right across South Derbyshire, that we can ensure that the people who need a meal are somewhere close to a volunteer. After all, the dinner would go cold during a 20 mile drive across the district.
If you , or some of your own volunteers, would like to be included in Operation Christmas Dinner, please contact Chris Wagstaff or Allan Jeffries at the Volunteer Centre – 01823 550163 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
… and if your organisation is in touch with ay elderly, disabled or ill people who would benefit from a Christmas Day dinner and a visit from a friendly face, please let us know.
Another thing, if we may? What can your own organisation offer to the people who want to volunteer over Christmas, but won’t be matched up as part of Operation Christmas Dinner? It doesn’t have to be volunteering on Christmas Day, but what are you doing over the whole Christmas period that could bring new volunteers into your organisation?