Its the second time I've volunteered at the Old People's Lunch, and this time I wanted to make the ladies a gift as many of them have said they have no one to spend Christmas with. I thought that was the least I can do... I made Candy Santa Sleighs which worked also as table decorations.
Volunteering hours is normally between 11-2.30/3. 11-12 is set up time; putting plates, cutlery, bread butter etc out. Sorting out hot water boiler and making up the coffee. At 12, the ladies (I keep saying ladies, sorry, although it's not gender specific. I think there were only 2 elderly men at the lunch both times) arrive, so we start taking them to the tables, offering drinks, generally being chatty.
I should note that throughout the entire time I'm there, my daughter is able to free range, and play with the toys there; there is a fantastic wagon she loves to be dragged around in, there's an art easel and also numerous boxes of toys as they host lots of kids groups at St Lukes Church. So please don't worry about your child(ren) not sitting still; it's not expected, and the children running around adds to the vibrancy of the setting. In fact, I think the old people (also, thats what St Lukes Church calls the event, in case I get in trouble for not being politically correct) prefer seeing the kids anyway, than talking to us mums.
After a while of chatting, the food will arrive and the volunteers need to help dish out and serve. Once the guests all have their food, then the volunteers can get their own and join them to eat. It's quite relaxed, but at the same time we are trying to look after the guests and make them feel special. Make sure everyone has enough of everything etc.
Once the food has been cleared away, we bring over the fruit and biscuit and go for a natter. At this point my daughter normally zones out, but she sat through the pantomime this time (She fell asleep during the old time sing song during the previous lunch). The ladies doing the panto were adorable, and even gave all the children a goody bag at the end of the show.
And also, how's this for a punchline:
"I'm the town crier... *in tears* I cry for the town"