Christmas Day at YMCA Reading and we had a small army of volunteers prepared to help us ensure that we were able to offer young residents a proper alternative if they had no were else to go. Presents were provided for each of our residents from the Giving Tree, these were all wrapped and delivered to those that were here on Christmas day.
Volunteers helped us to decorate the Cafe so that it felt a little more like home than usual. And head Chef Arlene, had the help of super volunteer Gabby in the kitchen. This is the second year that Gabby has given up Christmas to be with us volunteering.
Lunch this year was leg of lamb, chicken and turkey as we received so many donations on Christmas eve. We have to offer Halal food every year to ensure that the needs of our muslim residents are met, so lamb is always a good alternative to traditional turkey. The roasties were perfect! The brussel sprouts and parsnips were good too along with Arlene's homemade cranberry sauce and gravy.
This year we are happy to report that most of our residents did go to see family over the holidays, that is very positive. Nevertheless, we stay open 24/7, 365 days a year so our staff were here, ready to give support in any crisis. Leftover food from lunch was served up in a buffet to all residents throughout the rest of the holiday period. We have also ended up with extra food in the freezer which will be put to good use in cooking lessons and social events over the coming weeks.
Thank you so much to all of our volunteers, Gabby, Christina and her family who were all so helpful on the day. We are sorry if you offered to volunteer but were turned away. Remember that we are are always happy to have volunteers, but at Christmas most charities end up with more than they can use. Don't give up, come in another time and let us know what you would like to offer.