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Our Christmas Party Part 1: Helping out at the Birchwood Centre

 

This year’s All About Food Christmas party began with a little bit of a difference. Our yearly style is to head out in the morning to take part in some kind of activity followed by an evening letting our hair down and painting the town red. The day of the Christmas party this year was just as fun as usual, but with an added twist. And here’s Grace to explain why:

“All About Food really likes to give back to our community. We wanted to start a yearly tradition of spending Christmas helping others and we had worked with Birchwood Centre before. They’re a great charity that works with young people in our local area. Homelessness is a cause close to our hearts and there seemed no better place to help than Birchwood.”

The twist, as mentioned above, was to offer our time to a community group within Skelmersdale that reflected something that we could all get truly passionate out and inspired by. Some of the best days in the recent AAF diary have come from these events, and with Christmas being the time of goodwill to all men and women, the perfect fit would be for us to help the area where we’re from.

The Christmas Party Planning Committee (that’s an official title…) of Grace and Courtney did a great job of identifying an organisation that would benefit our help. Below is a description of the Birchwood Centre, taken from their website:

“We work with Young People (13-25 years old) to prevent homelessness and improve well-being. We also provide supported accommodation, deliver mediation, training, plus development and move on support"

A few days before the event Grace announced to the company that, for a few hours on 8th December, our Foodies would be helping decorate and furnish 3 of the bedrooms at the Birchwood Centre. The reaction was that of huge excitement. We just couldn’t wait to get cracking!

After a little bit of breakfast (bacon and sausage barms, the best!) we took ourselves on the 5 minute drive to the Birchwood Centre where we formed 3 teams: Team Painting, Team Furniture and Team Run-Around. Team Painting were tasked with painting the rooms (naturally), Team Furniture would use their skills (or lack of…) to put together wardrobes, beds and other furniture and Team Run-Around were the team that travelled far and wide to find all the bits and pieces we needed to make the up the end result.

Each team went on their merry way with the time limit of 2pm to finish. So the race was very much on. AAF does DIY.

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Before the walls could be painted, they needed to be sanded, and before the furniture could be put in, the walls needed to be painted. And before the furniture was put up, it needed to be bought, which meant there was only one thing for it: we needed to get sanding.

As soon as the walls were silky smooth and paintless, Team Painting cracked on making the walls a lovely light blue colour. The furniture that was put together was done almost without a hitch and there was plenty of time to put the finishing touch to the room by adding some lovely cushions, curtains and even a lovely box of Christmas chocolates! As you can see from the below collage, the change from before and after is awesome!

 

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We have always been very conscious of talking about our community efforts. We’re a humble bunch and we also understand there’s a fine line between talking about some of the things we do and shouting about some of the things we do. We get very excited about helping people because it always comes from our Foodies as people, not as employees. And it’s our people that make us All About Food.

If you would like to help the guys at the Birchwood Centre, you absolutely should do. You can find a link to their website here. They do great work for the Skelmersdale area for people who are at a point of their life when they need a helping hand. Which is bloomin’ fantastic.