On Monday 9 December, around 70 local people came together to form a very well organised team of volunteers to help the Salvation Army in Ashford to prepare food bags, and children's Santa sacks ready to be distributed to those who need the extra helping hand in the community this Christmas.
Volunteers from the congregation at Staines Corps, from local companies and school children from Ashford Park Primary, worked together throughout the day to ensure that by 4 pm, there were over 300 food parcels, 70 Christmas Day bags, and 450 children's Santa sacks ready to be collected by various agencies and distributed to families that need the support.
For many, this year was the first time they had volunteered to help, and they were happy they did, there were teams from Enterprise Cars, Bupa, Heathrow, Centrica and other local companies and businesses within the area.
In the morning, the shopping bags were picked, packed, and placed ready for collection, the toys that were kindly donated had to be put into age-appropriate piles and sorted to match each child.
The kitchen team served a lovely two-course lunch, and then it was time to allocate the toys to each family and place the food bags and Santa sacks ready for collection.
As well as food bags and Santa sacks, there were gifts to be wrapped. The team from Centrica beautifully wrapped over 100 gifts. Centrica is a long-standing supporter of the Salvation Army and thanks to their efforts there are now many presents wrapped and ready for Christmas Day when the Salvation Army opens it's doors to those in the Spelthorne community that would otherwise spend Christmas alone.
Deputy Mayor of Spelthorne Councillor Colin Barnard and his wife Barbara Barnard, who both came to show their support, spent the morning chatting to volunteers. Cllr Barnard commented on how lovely it was to see volunteers of all ages working together.
Christmas is a time for giving and The Salvation Army is always grateful to those who give financial donations, toys, or their time to help to support them as they support those in need.