Before the festive period begins, we decided to spread some cheer of our own and dedicated a day to helping out at a local community centre in Blackfriars.
On Friday 15th of November eight volunteers from Polaris headed to the Blackfriars Settlement; a registered charity who provide support to those living in the community. The centre is a key meeting point for local residents where they can enjoy a nice cooked meal and participate in activities that encourage fun and laughter. Polaris volunteers cooked and helped entertain visitors to the weekly Positive Ageing session, whose attendees are all over 60 with different levels of visual impairment.
It was all systems go as the team prepped and cooked 30 meals including three mains options from scratch. The team then enjoyed their creations with the visitors and served up some home-made desserts they had brought along, followed by a full scrub down of the kitchen.
“The day was very enjoyable and the centre volunteers and guests were very welcoming. Great teamwork was clearly key to the day’s success. With the varied menu and the lunchtime deadline, we showed as a team it was possible to deliver good quality, healthy meals. There was very little left over so we were pleased the food was a hit with the guests. I left with fond memories and a sense of achievement”
– Rakesh Krishnan, ProductWriter Manager.
After lunch the team helped out at the afternoon arts and crafts activity of image binding, where images were cut into strips and then recreated by weaving through mesh fabric. There was a vibrant and cheery atmosphere in the activities room led by some of the talented visitors playing popular songs with their instruments.
“Spending time with the members of the centre was a very rewarding experience and it helped me understand a lot about people who have little to no eyesight. I spent some time with a few members who were completely blind and was so amazed at how they managed to live life to the fullest despite not being able to see. They were truly wonderful individuals.” – Lewis Sims, Marketing Analyst
The centre plays an important part in the community and for those who attend it gives them a chance to be social and have fun, and without its support the regular visitors could become lonely and isolated.
“We’ve all learnt a lot can be achieved if you work as a team. I was very happy that everyone got a nice meal they enjoyed and it was lovely to see lots of smiles and laughter throughout the day. The whole day was fantastic, it was a great opportunity to give back to the community and we came away thinking about more things we would like to do to help out the centre.” – Claire Selmes, Personal Assistant to MD
We are pleased the day was a success and plan to revisit the centre to again show our support early in the New Year.