Community mission

Panto season is here

3 GoodGymers made their way to help the Turning Tides in Worthing.

  • Tamsin Cornwall
  • Paula Marten
  • John Robinson
Wednesday, 21st of December 2022

Dodging the raindrops three Goodgymers headed to the Turning Tides donation hub. Tamsin and John arrived first, so let the pantomime begin.

Oh no its not… We arrived expecting to put together Christmas provisions ready for later distribution to each of the Turning Tides services. Amy, from Turning Tides, greeted us, and confirmed that the task was as we thought. “Where is the food to be packed?”, we asked. “It’s behind you”, said Amy. Actually, what she really said is, “you don’t mind going to the shop first do you?” That was fine, as everybody knows, John absolutely loves shopping, especially in busy supermarkets, especially just before Christmas…..

Shed made a list….. The reason for needing to shop was that there had been a drop in donations compared to previous years. We headed off in two cars to ensure boot space. Amy’s car screeched to a halt. She’d got the list, she’d checked that twice! What she hadn’t checked was whether she had the means to pay! A quick change of passenger arrangement saw John and Tamsin speeding off with the shopping list, whilst Amy rode back to base with a planned rendezvous at Tesco!

With trolley tokens kindly provided at the information desk, we joined our first queue - to get access to the returned trolleys! One and a half of the trolleys were full before we crossed the threshold of the store proper. 30 bags of potatoes, 41 bags of carrots, 20 bags of parsnips - you get the idea! Whilst Tamsin and John vegged out, Amy set off on the hunt for meat - turkey, ham etc. No partridge though - apparently it refused to come down from the tree.

Its till not the end List fulfilled (all but one Christmas Cake), and several so called jokey comments about the trolley full of brussel sprouts, we joined our next queue. We’d reached the tills. Amy declared as we arrived “I always choose the wrong queue”. That soon proved to be true, and the unloaded shopping was soon being moved one till along where things seemed to be moving more quickly. Amy was right though! It was still the wrong queue! As we were waiting the customerless cashier alongside us just looked on and smiled!

Cars loaded we headed back to base. Tamsin, ever the multi tasker, made a quick detour to adjust cooking temperature for dinner that evening.

We Three (un** pac) Kings Paula had arrived in time to lead the unloading of the cars into crates ready for Amy to set up the “packing line”. We three were sent upstairs to count to ten (you know, coffee, tea, tunnocks tea cakes. That sort of thing…) while the packing area was created.

Given the all clear we began working through the spreadsheet of requirements adding items to labelled crates as appropriate. We soon realised that “paying more attention” would mean not having to take things back out and starting again. Once realised Team GoodGym came into its own. We are always most effective when we operate as a team. Amy having asked us to just “concentrate on the first four, and we’ll see how it goes” was surprised to hear us declare “finished”. The minor spillage was forgotten (fortunately the phone survived its brief cleansing) and we three headed back out into the rain heartened by Amy’s grateful thanks.

Report written by John Robinson

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Wednesday December 21st, 2022 18:58


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