Yesterday, JRS UK marked the upcoming festivities with our annual Christmas Day Centre; the final one held for the year . Throughout the day, we opened our doors to a record 282 refugee friends along with many of their children.
Preparations had been under way throughout the week with cold weather ‘Vinnie Packs’ donated by the SVP containing warm hats and gloves, as well as gift bags of Christmas goodies prepared for the children who may not otherwise receive many presents. Our Christmas gifts included mobile phone top ups for our refugee friends and an extra bonus to their usual travel grant to see them through the Christmas period while our centre is closed.
Our dedicated volunteers prepared a special Christmas lunch of lamb, turkey, red snapper fish, fried plantain, couscous and a variety of salad and vegetables. Our friends were very pleased with the food on offer, making the hard work of our volunteer chefs well worthwhile. Sharing a meal together is always a highlight of our day centre and there was a great amount of joy and laughter as our friends chatted with one another and the volunteers they meet with each week.
Our Destitution Services Manager, Cristina, said “It was a very busy, very joyful and heart-warming day for all of us, with great feedback from our refugee friends. It was an incredible team effort and we were grateful to be joined by volunteers from our detention outreach team who participated in their first Day Centre. We would like to thank all those who donated items we needed for the day, as well as those who have generously supported our Advent Appeal, for helping us to put on such an amazing day for our friends”.
We ask that you continue to hold our refugee friends in your prayers during this very important time of year that can often be so difficult for those who are separated from their family or not able to share in many of the luxuries that we enjoy.
Merry Christmas from all at JRS UK!