What we are grateful for this Christmas

Volunteers in Santa hats at the donation station

On the 2 December we opened a Donation Station at Colombo Centre

We know many households are going to have a very tough time over Christmas so we are delivering essentials hampers to ensure they don’t go without at a time of year when many support organisations are closed.

We are grateful to everyone who has donated and are thankful for everything we've received. We’ve had great support from local people as well as businesses such as The National Theatre, Rambert, Waitrose, Bankside Hotel, Bloody Good Period, Costa Coffee, Scoop Magazine and The Little Black & White Book Project. Living Bankside is also working in partnership with us and are delivering parcels to hundreds of households in north Southwark estates until the 23rd December.

volunteers at the donation station and delivering gift bags to local people

We’ve been collecting dried groceries, tins, toiletries, sweets, new toys, books, art and crafts materials for local residents’ care packages and hampers for seniors, families in need and vulnerable adults to receive just before Christmas.

We're visiting 250 local residents for a doorstep chat with a simple festive gift bag. 

Supporting our community this year

Some residents lost loved ones or waited 8 weeks for benefits to be paid, some residents with health conditions are still shielding and suffering acute anxiety and stress. We are supporting families cramped in temporary accommodation without access to a computer or any space for children to play or exercise in lockdowns. We are working in partnership with Lambeth Council and Southwark Council, local charities, schools and businesses to share resources, identify needs and to keep people in safe spaces until long term support, benefits and circumstances improve.

Volunteers packing food and supplies to deliver to local people in the summer

We're grateful we've been able to support our local community this year with over 16,000 meals delivered to people with various issues and vulnerabilities due to Covid-19.

We have given out 583 activity and resource packs to seniors, families and vulnerable adults who welcomed a useful and caring gesture and human contact during a very difficult lonely time.

A virtual Seniors' Party

Our annual Christmas seniors' party is a highlight of the social calendar with a sit down meal, drinks, quiz, raffle and dancing. It’s got bigger every year due to demand. In fact we hosted 160 seniors last year. 

seniors enjoying the party last year

Although this year we cannot do it in the usual way, we feel it’s more important than ever to connect our seniors, many of whom are on their own.

Our virtual party includes a quiz, singing, a bit of dancing and a chance to see friendly faces. These photos from last year give a flavour of what to expect!

Supporting families and young people this year

We've supported those local families most in need of help, ensuring they can access support. By moving parenting sessions online this year we provided a lifeline to parents with young children. Families have also been able to access health and wellbeing activities, outdoor games sessions and nature trails.

When reopening our nursery our priority was the safety and wellbeing of children, parents and staff. Safety measures included splitting children into ‘bubbles’ of approximately 8 to 12 children with a qualified first aider, a first aid kit for every bubble and PPE for all staff.

Our youth programmes have continued both online and offline, the youth forum has been active all year and we've developed special projects including lock­down art sessions funded by Illuminated River Foundation's community fund, summer camps funded by Kitchen Social part of the Mayor's Fund for London and outdoor trips in bubbles.

Thank You Tilly and Dotty

We're extremely grateful to Tilly and Dotty for making a real difference to Coin Street nursery. They both used to attend the nursery and their brother Monty is still there. When they heard our nursery was struggling to buy toys, books and other essentials they stepped in to help by cycling 250 miles to fundraise money.

tilly and dotty in the park with their bikes

Not only did the sisters manage to complete the challenge, they smashed their target and cycled nearly 300 miles!

They've raised £1,400 from a target of £500 which has been spent on a creative station arts centre and improving the outside play space with rope swings, a water play area and a playhouse for the babies.

We are so proud of their achievement.

What are you grateful for this year? We'd love for you to read your comments on our social media.

Geena