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Meeting New Friends - Skelmersdale International


The ability to turn our hand to something worthwhile and something exciting is at the heart of the way All About Food think and act. Our values aren’t merely here to remind us of how we should be acting, but more so here to applaud us on the way we are acting in both our personal and professional lives. Foodies don’t need reminding because we live the values every day.


Some days more than others give us chance to actively show our personality and one day recently was real special indeed.


A few months ago, a couple of Foodies met up with the wonderful guys across at West Lancs Council for Voluntary Service (CVS). WLCVS “is a charity, set up in 1973, and is the key umbrella group for voluntary and community groups in West Lancashire.” That’s the fancy description that you’ll find on their website. Our description of them is “blooming magnificent people doing blooming magnificent work” - I’m not sure that would get on their website, though.


During the meeting, it was discussed that All About Food wanted to help more and establish connections within our community of Skelmersdale not for corporate reasons, but because each and every Foodie as a human being believes it’s the right thing to do to help where we can. And mighty right they are, too!


What was decided was that we would - to start off with - hold a community lunch in our office restaurant area for some of the local folks from around Skelmersdale. This idea quickly evolved into a ‘getting to know you’ afternoon for a group of refugees who have been placed in the Skelmersdale area as a way of introducing them to our part of the world. As plans were being made, we all started getting a wee bit giddy!


The first decision to be made was around how we would theme the day. Well, in the true spirit of welcoming new friends to their new home, we decided to host a traditional British afternoon tea party - scones, sandwiches, cakes and (the all important!) tea.


The ability to put together a proper good lunch is something we pride ourselves on at All About Food (if you’ve read our other blogs I’m sure you’ll know that already!), but we also wanted the chance to mix, mingle and chat with some of the people who had made the trip from their various homes across the world into our home in Skelmersdale. We wanted to really get to know them, but we understood that the cogs of conversation sometimes need oiling, so what better way to loosen your vocal chords and squash those new-place nerves than with a good, old fashioned round of bingo. Let the games commence!


Well, hold on right there. First of all, we had to set the tables and gather some Foodie friends to volunteer, which we did with no problem at all. Christine, Grace, Jane, Luke, Lewis and Lucy all gave us the go-go-go to help, with a special mention to Christine for organising the day and Jane for sourcing the excellent fine china we dined off. Well played, you two!


When the day arrived and the tables were made, the food was plated up and the tea was brewed, we only had one thing to do: wait. We waited with bated breath for our honorary Foodies to arrive and arrive they did, right on time and raring to eat, drink (tea) and be merry.


Once we got a minute post-lunch, we quieted the chatter and starting the bingo, and boy did that go down a storm. The noise levels rose and the competitive nature of our visitors came out in full force and proved that no matter where you’re from, a win is still a win, even in a friendly game of bingo.


Our overall winners went home with a couple of goodie bags and some restaurant vouchers for their troubles, and our Foodies got to spend time helping those who have been placed in our community from their lives and homes overseas. It was a lovely day all round, and we’re sure to be seeing the faces again as we get more involved in helping any which way we can.