Challenge Yourself: Volunteer Centre feels the festive spirit

Richard Pitts and Sara Woodley with two of the Desoutter Volunteers
Richard Pitts and Sara Woodley with two of the Desoutter Volunteers

Three teams of volunteers from Desoutter of Boundary Way Hemel Hempstead joined forces to spread some Christmas cheer around the borough last month.

Volunteer Centre Dacorum was one of three good causes to benefit from this community day.

The centre now has a bright and fresh looking resources room thanks to some hard work and skill with a paintbrush.

Richard Pitts, chief officer of the centre, said: “All of us at the Volunteer Centre would like to say a big thank you for the make-over you gave our resources room, not to mention the ladies loo!

“You did a brilliant job for us and it’s looking so much brighter and fresher after your hard work.

“This will make a big difference to the groups that hire out our room and for our team when we have our meetings.”

The other two teams acted as real life Santa’s for the day and got busy wrapping Christmas gifts for the Salvation Army in Waterhouse Street and delivering parcels on behalf of Age UK Dacorum.

Melanie Clark, Independent Living Scheme manager for Age UK Dacorum, said: “For the past few years, our regular volunteers have found the time to deliver parcels but for Christmas 2014 Desoutter kindly offered to deliver them for us, which was fantastic.

“We sent 72 parcels to people in Hemel, Berkhamsted, Tring, Kings Langley and Markyate.

“Many of them phoned us to say thank you and how it had made a difference to their lonely day.

“Age UK Dacorum would like to thank Desoutter for their help and to thank Berkhamsted Prep and Pre-Prep school who donated much of the food.

“We are also grateful to the all the residents of Dacorum who donated presents for our Christmas parties.”

Scott Howard, regional manager for the north, first approached Lorraine Rockminster at Volunteer Centre Dacorum in July.

He explained that the company were keen to make a difference in their community by giving staff some time off from their regular work to help a good cause.

“It was a very rewarding and humbling experience,” Scott Howard said.

“We all can and often do go into our own little pre festive bubble rushing around and preparing for the celebrations forgetting those who are not as fortunate as ourselves.

“Everyone involved agreed that we should again look to a similar based community volunteer day at some stage in 2015.”

“More and more companies want to increase their involvement in corporate/community partnerships, but the major barrier for them is finding voluntary 
opportunities in the first place.

“Employee volunteering has excellent benefits for staff development, improved morale and can take a company’s Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to a new level.”