Hammersmith and Fulham
Hammersmith and Fulham
The Smile Brigade are a Santa-stic local charity who support vulnerable and isolated people in the borough, by providing meals and care packages. They do amazing work all year round, but it’s especially poignant at Christmas, and in these current circumstances, where there may be more lonely, vulnerable and isolated people living locally. They had put out a call for volunteers to help with their Christmas Prepping day, and seven of Hammersmith and Fulham’s festive finest (plus Judith visiting from South of the River, and the roaming wanderer, the nomad of GoodGym Chi) were here to help out!
There were plenty of festive things to be getting stuck into, and I arrived to a cheery Katie and Chris decorating the tree, which was one of many tasks the gang of GoodGymmers and the other volunteers were helping out with. There were personal care goods and toiletries, which Judith arranged neatly into lines of Listerine and stacks of Sanex; and in the other corner Chris, Analiese and Jess were piling up presents and making sure Katie’s tree was looking fir-fect, with lights being just right and ensuring even bauble and streamer distribution.
Then there was the food prep to be done, for the Christmas dinner deliveries…
Lucy and Ben were on potato duty, and joined another volunteer in the relentless job of peeling and chopping two sacks (over 100kg!!) of them to make sure that everyone would have enough roasties. They did a spuddy good job though, and Lucy even managed to keep all her fingers (whoever trusted her with the sharp knives is beyond me). One sack through (that’s a lot of potatoes) and Analiese and Jess took over for a bit, to allow Lucy and Ben the joy of another task… Brussel sprouts! Chris seemed intrigued and joined them in the kitchen, chopping the stalks off and filling up a great big tub of the green things. It wasn’t much to sprout home about, but Analiese came and joined in too!
Over the other side of the hall, Arba was given her very own vegetables, and spent about two hours on carrot chopping. She did eventually get to the root of the problem, with Lucy joining her for the final handful. Orange you glad you came along Arba? The other volunteers were prepping parsnips, creating custard and getting gravy going. By now, the veggies were pretty much done, and the numbers were dropping off, as the tasks were all being tied up. There were only a few things left to finish up with.
So who turned up, but Chi! Just in time to help Ben with his balls and have a good stuffing. No connotations here, just that classic Christmas dinner fare of stuffing balls that needed rolling! While the boys got going on their balls, Lucy and Arba had the task of making jelly. The air was filled with that sweet strawberry scent, as they boiled the kettle and stirred the pink powder, in hope of it turning into something wibbly and wobbly and delicious for the Christmas trifles. Water good job, girls.
We checked in with the volunteer coordinators, who were more than happy with our hard work, and there wasn’t much more we could help with. We said our goodbyes, and head out into the big wide world full of hope and Christmas joy… For all of about ten minutes, until BoJo came along and, well we all know what happens next.
Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you have a sproutstanding day, wherever you may be. (& if you are feeling perhaps a little less festive thanks to the new tiers in place, then the Smile Brigade are looking for Christmas volunteers to help deliver all the fantastic meals and presents we worked so hard to make today. You don’t have to be alone in London this Christmas) x
Hammersmith and Fulham
The Smile Brigade are an awesome local charity who provide meals and care packages to vulnerable people up and down the borough.
To help them get into the Christmas spirit, they would like some volunteers to help with wrapping gifts and writing festive cards. There are also some less creative jobs, helping to pack and prepare food for food parcels and hampers.
You can stay for as long or as little as you’d like, but make sure you bring your Christmas jumpers, your best reindeer antlers or Santa hats and your GoodGym amazingness along.
The team are happy to encourage any family or friends who may be interested in helping out to get involved too. If you know anyone who wants to help out, then bring them along too!
If you have any cards, gifts, chocolates, mince pies, biscuits, fruit, veg, cheese, bread and toiletries you would like to donate, please bring them along too, as they are making gift baskets and hampers.