Our Christmas Party Dinner Was A Great Success

We had a wonderful evening, this evening. Jan, Meryl and Mai-Britt have been working hard, tirelessly to get everything together and in place for the big event. We had decided to cater for 60 people as the numbers have been increasing of late. We had also heard rumours that people were coming that had not been for a while.

The menu was full. We had a full roast dinner. Jan prepared bread sauce, red cabbage, mash potato and she cooked lovely turkey breast from Vickers Butchers together with Brussels sprouts and stuffing. Meryl did a huge amount of roast parsnips and potatoes. Carol (well her husband Mark) made the gravy. Christine made pigs in blankets. For dessert, we had mince pies delivered from Lisa at Tesco Metro and Christmas pudding and custard. The whole event has been a massive team effort. We were surprised but only 37 came in but it was a perfect number. Loads of the volunteers got together last Monday to sort and wrap presents for Santa to give out. Sally has over the months collected 60 shoe boxes for us to use for the presents. Mai-Britt’s house has been full of donated items which she has collated and sorted with the help of Abi. We had a shoebox of goodies and a separate parcel of jogging bottoms, hats, gloves and more. Sally made some little sweet parcels for the table and Rockinghorse Sweets who had contacted us made some cute little Reindeer sweets for table decorations too. Mira made the table decorations.
Crackers came from Simply Crackers, same as last year. It is so wonderful how companies have been happy to support us. Santa and his helper Gary came last night. Gary is a vicar from Reading but lives in Thatcham. Cath wrote to Santa and Gary gave Santa directions to get to the hall. I have spoken to Gary and he has invited Santa back next year. We were donated a beautiful quality Santa outfit from Palmer Agencies in Belfast, just in case he was grubby after going down chimneys. Santa said it was the best outfit he had worn and fitted around his huge stomach well. Other Santa outfits do not usually do that. The Ukulele band NUTS came again to play. They were wonderful, the atmosphere came alive. People danced and sang. Debbie, one of our volunteers got roped in to stand and shake bells too.
The atmosphere was great all night. A few people commented on how clients looked so happy especially when Santa came in and the presents were given out. There were a few wonderful things that happened this evening that made the whole event and the stress of getting to it worth it. One of our regular clients told us that he now has a room to live in and was looking forward to the future. He was a bit concerned about his ability to make the right decisions but he was going to give it a go, a new start.

We also sang Happy Birthday to someone too with the band playing in the background.

Jan with her Rudolf’s nose got up and danced to get everyone going. It got the evening going and the atmosphere was definitely festive.

Not everyone finds the noise and chaos of an event like our party easy. A few people sat outside as it was too noisy but we just took their food out to them. Jan packed some food so a few could take it away.

The storage is very full of donated items which we can now use throughout the year and especially this winter. After Christmas, we need to source some medium sized racking for the storage so we can organise ourselves better.

The volunteers have worked so hard this year to feed so many people. We are so grateful for their commitment and compassion.


For some of us it can be overwhelming at times, especially now the Soup Kitchen is growing. However, watching the people who came in last night and to see how happy our effort make them and how we have built relationships. Not only with the clients but with each other it is an amazing achievement. Roll in 2019! We are going to work our socks off to hopefully get us that building so we can improve and grow to carry on the wonderful work we all do.

Thank you for all your support this year. Merry Christmas to you all.