Updated: Dec 6, 2021
December is that special time of the year when we reflect on what has happened, and at Be Enriched that means being extra grateful for all those who have given up their time to volunteer with us.
Ahead of International Volunteer Day on Sunday 5th December, and as part of the Mayor of London's 10,000 Thank Yous campaign, our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Helen, took some time to organise hand write notes of appreciation which were dropped off by her and our CEO to those helping out at Graveney and Castle canteens.
Alongside this she took a moment to reflect on all the support we've had during one of the most challenging years faced by all of us, as well as pick out some of those who have really gone above and beyond:
"Everyone who volunteers with us is making a difference to the lives of people around them. The wonderful thing about volunteering is that it works in reverse too - when individuals and groups volunteer, they also gain a greater sense of belonging to their communities.
I firmly believe that this is just one of the reasons why so many Londoners (over 500 individuals responded to our Covid-19 emergency appeal for help in Spring 2020) were ready to put their plans aside and donate their time and energy to our Lockdown projects.
"Since the lifting of restrictions, we have seen a steady stream of volunteers, some returning to their regular roles and commitment, and plenty of new faces – students and generous corporate teams looking to make a difference in the community.
"It's been lovely to take some time to share our gratitude, especially for those below:
Trish: Thank you for choosing to commit so much of your new-found free time to volunteering when you left your job. You have also been a terrific support at our School Holiday Projects in Kennington.
Sim: Thank you for joining our team of regular volunteers at Graveney Canteen, showing your kindness through the preparation of a hot lunch, and serving our guests.
Claire: Thank you for returning to Graveney after Lockdown, rolling up your sleeves, and getting back to what you clearly enjoy doing.
Tom: Thank you for getting on your bike on Friday lunchtimes, and peddling cooked meals and groceries to those who couldn’t leave their homes.
Peter: Thank you for your steadfast support, and for waiting so patiently through the long Lockdown period for our Castle Canteen to re-open. Everyone who comes for lunch is once again enjoying your tray-bakes and comforting puddings!
Belinda and Eddie: Thank you for being an incredibly dedicated and flexible Mum and son team, who took food parcels to folks, from Balham to Battersea. All that driving practice really paid off for Eddie, who then went on to pass his test first time!
Lee and Cormac: Thank you for your consistent reliability and teamwork that meant planning all the deliveries each week was a little bit easier for us.
Penny, Mark and Family: Thank you for pulling together as a team to help sort, pack and distribute emergency food parcels at Brixton People's Kitchen on so many occasions. Penny, muchas gracias! for putting your Spanish interpreting skills to such good use, enabling us to reach and stay in touch with many in the Latin-American community in South London.
Cllr Hannah: Thank you for your channeling some of your incredible community spirit into enabling us to deliver to folks in Roehampton. “Ain’t no block of flats high enough to keep us from you!” We should have had T-shirts printed!
Carolina, Diana and colleagues from Frontiers, and volunteering with us with the help of Alaya.
"I am so grateful to everyone who has volunteered with us this year. You are all wonderful."
We are always on the look out for new volunteers, either individuals or corporate groups, and you can find out more on the Volunteering section of our website.