As part of Jellybean’s 12 Days of Giving initiative, I decided to volunteer at Renewed Hope Trust, a local charity based in Redhill. The charity provides practical and emotional support to the homeless and socially disadvantaged of East Surrey and surrounding areas. Their support is invaluable and really impacts the local community directly, providing overnight shelter, meals, clothing and assistance in finding employment to those in need.
I think it is safe to say that I may be the only person in the entire Jellybean office who has never had a mince pie… Partly due to the fact that it is not in my Christmas tradition as in France they are not a thing, and also partly due to the fact that I’ve always thought it was meat, which never appealed to me. After doing a little bit of research on the history of mince pies I discovered that I was not entirely wrong and that mince pies were, once upon a time, made using meat.
The British Heart Foundation is a charity that is close to my heart (excuse the pun), so it was great to head back to their Dorking charity shop to help out again this Christmas as part of Jellybean’s 12 days of Giving. Liz who runs the show and her team of volunteers were as welcoming as ever and I was happy to help out with whatever needed doing. The big change from last year was the number of volunteers, which meant that whereas last year there was masses to do, this year I arrived to see a back room which was very much in order with only a few bags and boxes to unpack. My first task was to head to the shop floor to refresh the shoe and bag display, taking off all the stock that hadn’t sold, adding new shoes and bags and re-merchandising the display to help attract shoppers (with a bit of light dusting thrown in for good measure).
It’s a profoundly tragic fact that in today’s society, loneliness, living alone and poor social connections can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and worse for you than obesity^. In fact, it’s estimated that nine million people in the UK across all adult ages are either ‘always’ or ‘often’ lonely*. Currently some 1.2 million older people in the UK are classified as chronically lonely In terms of our aging population – one that is living longer than ever – with the number of over-50s experiencing loneliness set to reach two million by 2025/6 – a 49% increase in just 10 years**.
Last Friday I was fortunate enough to end my week enjoying fantastic food and wine with equally fantastic company. With no less than three clients shortlisted for a Product Excellence Award (The Caterer’s 2019 PEAs in partnership with Delaware North) I ventured out to the London Stadium (2012 Olympic Stadium and home to West Ham United F.C.) to celebrate their success.