This month we speak to Reggie and Fiker, two members of staff at St Luke’s Community Centre, who worked at the Christmas Day party at St Luke’s. Find out what goes on behind the scenes on this special day for our community.

Local residents enjoying a Christmas meal

Do you have an early start on the day making sure the Community Centre is ready and festive?

We had a few meetings to discuss set up and make a plan prior to Christmas Day, so by the time the day arrives we are really organised. We actually set up the Friday before Christmas Day. On the day itself we let the chef in at 8am, making sure the Centre was warm and inviting for the guests and adding some finishing touches.

What time do people start arriving?

The party starts at 12 noon, but guests arrive from about 11am, so we have to be organised.

How many people attended this year?

We had 55 guests, 26 volunteers and five staff, including the chef and her assistant.

What was the atmosphere like?

The atmosphere was euphoric and there was a buzz of happiness and togetherness with everyone coming together to celebrate the festive season.

What was on the menu for guests?

It was a traditional three-course Christmas dinner with a vegetarian option. Followed by tea, coffee and mince pies while enjoying the Queen’s speech.

Did you get any feedback from the guests?

Every comment we heard from guests was positive – they were delighted with the day. Comments included: ‘It was lovely to feel included and not to be alone on Christmas’. One gentleman said: ‘It felt like when I was back in the Services and being back with all of your comrades’.

As a support team for the day we were able to identify if someone had any particular needs and make sure everyone was having a good time and was comfortable, and that’s a lovely thing to be able to do.

Did everyone like their gifts?

Everyone appeared very thankful, appreciative and grateful with the gifts they received. They’re purchased for everyone who attends by kind donations to our Christmas Giving Campaign – it really does make such a difference.

When did everyone leave?

By 5pm the Centre was cleared and tidy.

A huge thank you to Reggie and Fiker, and all our other staff, volunteers and guests on the day, and for our other Christmas events. It really is a special day in St Luke’s calendar, and a privilege for St Luke’s to be able to help local residents who might otherwise be alone on Christmas Day.