Community Christmas 2020 – Christmas to Your Door
The week of 14th December was an incredibly busy and festive week for FYA! 20 Youth Event Managers, supported by 72 fantastic youth action and community volunteers found a way to impact over 1000 people and connect at a time of year that can be isolating ordinarily, let alone in the year of social distancing and lockdowns. The week started with face to face volunteering delivering Christmas to Your Door across three days. The week then culminated in an online event Community Christmas Online!
CHRISTMAS TO YOUR DOOR was designed by 10 of our young event managers as part of a 12-week project. The group initially started working together face to face but adapted to meeting online when guidelines changed. Due to COVID-19, the group decided that instead of people coming to our community Christmas, which normally we host every year, they wanted to bring Christmas to them – delivering hampers to our local community members. They decided all the aspects of the event, from designing the poster, to what should be included in the hampers, to the briefing for volunteers. The hampers included; a meal, activities and some winter socks! The group were incredibly resilient as the government guidelines consistently changed throughout their project. They were able to bounce back, problem solve and adapt and brilliant at problem solving adapting their ideas to ensure the event was as safe as possible
Across three days, 58 youth action volunteers and Community Champions supported the deliveries on foot, by bicycle and some by car. A total of 950 people benefitted from the work of the Christmas to Your Door Youth Event team! 600 hamper packs were delivered to residents including members of Third Age Project, Bengali Workers Association, Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre, One Housing Esther Randall Court and Roseberry Mansions, FYA Cumberland Youth Club families and community members who often attend our events. The group were also able to adapt their concept to provide special items more suited to 350 people from homeless organisations at American International Church Soup Kitchen and St Mungos.
Christmas to Your Door not only brought a smile to those who received a hamper, but also to our volunteers who were able to connect in person (although distanced), wearing festive hats and Christmas lights, taking part in a scavenger hunt competition and played festive songs recorded especially by some of our young performers to spread festive joy as they delivered.
Feedback from community members included:
“I have just enjoyed the most delicious dinner delivered to me this afternoon, for which, it goes without saying, I am more than profoundly grateful. Together with the other delights in the “goodie” bag made the whole experience of receiving this from your truly wonderful delivery team absolutely delightful. As I say I am more than profoundly grateful so thank you many times over.’’
“Please pass on our grateful thanks to all the young volunteers who delivered the lovely pre-cooked roasted dinners this evening to our centre.” (Third Age Project)
“It’s lovely to know that young people care for older people and the meal and lovely gifts has really cheered me up a lot!” (91 year old Third Age Project Recipient)
“The FYA Christmas bags are fantastic!! A massive thanks you for the love you guys put into them.” (One Housing)
‘’A very big thank you to everyone at Fitzrovia Youth for the lovely Christmas dinner and the very nice pair of socks”
“We received the xmas meals tonight with the goodies. Thank you so much. When everything is so difficult at the moment you still managed to provide such good deeds. It is absolutely amazing. Many thanks to the helpers who did the planning, cooking, the dishing out, the delivery and so on”
I would just like to say thank you very much for delivering dinner today. It was absolutely beautiful. In these hard times it was really appreciated – thank you very much”
“How amazing is this?! Youth volunteers from @FYAonroad are doing the rounds, delivering xmas cheer to neighbours in Fitzrovia! Heroes! (well heroines as they are all female today)…so grateful for the inspiration – You bring hope of a better future.”
“It helps the community feel positive. The different gifts inside the pack were great, the books were really appreciated”
“I feel more cared for and feel more integrated into the community”
You can see a taste of our event below in a film and gallery!
We could not have done this without the incredible support from:
Lottery Community Fund, Clarion Futures and #iwill fund, Camden Giving Social Action Fund, One Housing, Regents Place Community Fund, Camden Giving HS2 Fund, Derwent London Community Fund, Entertainment One/Hasbro, Fitzrovia Partnership and Camden Council via our Community Champions project. We also had brilliant donations of items from the We Make Camden Team, Tesco’s and Morrison’s, Thank you also to our partners Bengali Workers Association who also provided the venue so our teams could be as safe as possible and the incredible volunteers and youth leaders!
*All events were held within government guidelines at the time of occurrence. Some footage and images include members of the same household or bubbles volunteering together who were not required to social distance from each other.
To see more from our online event including brilliant performances please go to http://www.fya.org.uk/sh_events/community-christmas-2020-online/