Posted on 14/12/2012
More than 100 Royal Holloway students got into the Christmas spirit this week, wrapping and sending out parcels stuffed with food and festive treats to elderly residents in the community.
From mince pies to perfumes and Christmas crackers, the volunteers prepared packages of seasonal gifts for more than 120 people who are isolated and vulnerable over Christmas.
“Our students have really got into the festive spirit this year”, said Phil Simcock, Community Action Volunteer Manager at Royal Holloway.
“Thanks to the enthusiasm shown by our volunteers, we will be bringing some festive joy to those less fortunate than ourselves this Christmas.”
Now in its fourth year, the Santa’s Workshop initiative is a partnership between Royal Holloway’s Community Action team and Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne. Since the start of December, staff and students have been donating items such as mince pies, yule logs, soaps, perfumes, biscuits and calendars.
On Wednesday, 12 December, student volunteers wrapped up the donations with a Christmas cracker and a personally written Royal Holloway Christmas card, to be delivered by Age UK.
Members from a range of student groups gave their time to helping with the initiative, including the cheerleading squad, and ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and women’s football teams.
Indeed, Santa’s Workshop was one of many volunteering activities students have taken part in this festive season. This includes the Egham Rotary Club’s Christmas street collection and Oxfam’s Christmas shopping event.
In addition, the American football and women’s rugby teams supported the Manor Farm Day Centre’s Christmas decorations and party, while Psychology students organised the Your Sanctuary charity’s children’s party. The Absolute Harmony singing group sung carols at the Englefield Green Christmas tree lights switch-on and the Dance Society performed at Merlewood Nursing Home. The Birchlands care home were treated to student ballroom and Latin dancers and Heathrow Special Needs Farm received a visit from the famous Choir of Royal Holloway.
Phil added: “Our festive activities are a fun way to volunteer while responding to requests for support from charities and community organisations. I am so impressed with the response we’ve had this year, and would like to thank everyone who has given their full support to these worthwhile projects.”