REVIEW OF CHRISTMAS 2021
WHO WE ARE
Surviving Christmas is run by a group of volunteer Trustees and supported by lead and regular volunteers who all live local to the area. Each person brings a different skill to the charity but we all have one thing in common, we are passionate about the work of Surviving Christmas in relieving hardship and distress to those most in need or vulnerable at this time of year.
WHAT WE DO
Throughout the year we organise fundraising events so that we can financially support our projects over the Christmas period. We welcome volunteer support for these and will advertise our events on Facebook and via the website.
We look forward to working with volunteers from previous years as well as new recruits. In previous years we have asked volunteers to sign up for a job role and date through a Volunteer tab on this website. Each of the Project days start at 9.30am and finish by 4.30pm – the afternoon shifts start at 1pm. We look forward to working with you at the Salvation Army Hall, St Andrews Square, Hastings.
Another fantastic achievement with nearly 700 food hampers packed and distributed for those most in need in our local area. This could not happen without the hard work, dedication and commitment of our volunteers and partnership agencies, who nominate for their clients and support the deliveries. We would like to thank each and every person involved and believe that 2021 was a great success.
The story of the hamper week – Volunteers started working on the contact with local agencies in October and had collated all the nominations by the beginning of December so that lists of recipients either for delivery or collection were ready for the packing week commencing 13th December. Other volunteers had hired a van and collected the free hamper boxes from the company SAICA in Reading so it was just the food we needed! A bulk food buy from Morrisons’ was delivered on Monday so we could start packing in the afternoon, having set out the hall ready for action. Each day we had a merry band of about 20 volunteers making up the boxes, packing hampers, making sandwiches, sorting cardboard and manning reception. We also received non-perishable food donations from Schools, Churches, local businesses and individuals which boosted our food supplies and added even more Christmas cheer to our hampers. Over the following four days we packed and distributed nearly 400 of the hampers with the invaluable support of volunteers using their own transport.
The remaining 300 or so hampers were made up and collected from the Hall by agencies or individuals and all volunteers and agency workers made this happen efficiently and effectively with little fuss, lots of fun and the odd hurdle to overcome such as extra food runs to Morrisons and the ‘disappearing box saga’. We had to source ‘bags for life’ from Tesco (at their cost) to make up two bags of food for recipients instead of a boxed hamper.
Once again, this year, we abided by COVID 19 Government regulations of mask wearing, hand sanitising and social distancing to keep each other, ourselves and others safe.
The ‘new toy’ appeal was also a great success again with hundreds of new toys donated to be sorted, some wrapped and distributed with hampers. Santa’s Grotto Day brought over 75 children to visit where we had fun, refreshments and a gift from Santa himself. The Hastings Salvation Army have supported the toy appeal and are an ongoing support with the premises for the projects.
The objectives of Surviving Christmas are to relieve in cases of need, hardship or distress persons who are resident, whether temporarily or not, in the County Borough of Hastings or the Rother District in the County of East Sussex during the Festive Season.