5th December, 2016| News

It’s a great feeling when your efforts are rewarded. And receiving an award by the local Mayor, for volunteering in your community, is just such an example.

In 2014 our business offered all staff a half day each year, to donate towards local charity volunteering, within working hours.  This was part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment.

After reaching out to the community we picked a couple of charities to focus our efforts on.  Some of our time was donated to a local food bank but it was also the start of a relationship with the Reigate & Redhill Live at Home Scheme.

Reigate & Redhill Live at Home Scheme

They offer support and friendship to over 100 older people in the Reigate, Redhill, Merstham and Horley areas still living in their own homes.  They can join the Live at Home Scheme for clubs, coffee mornings, lunch, social events and holidays.

Being a food company we wanted to help them out with anything foodie. Firstly we’ve been able to support their big band ploughman’s nights by donating ham for the supper. These events have raised over £1,700 towards outings and activities.

In 2014 we accompanied their members for a spot of Christmas shopping.  It gave them a helping hand, to ensure that they got round all the shops – some with pretty long lists to tick off!  Other members just fancied a wander and a coffee with someone to chat to.

Eventually we moved onto the cooking – how could we not!? In 2015 we cooked up a St George’s Day lunch for the 21 members which also gave their regular volunteers a day off from the cooking too.  The food went down a storm and they loved the roast gammon, potatoes – as well as the banter with our team.

Since that event we’ve cooked them Christmas dinner with all the trimmings – turkey, roast ham, potatoes, carrot and swede mash and Yorkshires. What we’ve learnt is that HOT gravy is very important.  If you offer too much choice then it just gets confusing. And never tell one person you have ice cream to go with their desert – or else you’ll be trying to eke out 20 servings from a 1 litre tub!!

Mayor’s Volunteer Award

All of the team who’ve taken part have loved getting involved and being part of something which brings so much pleasure to those who spend a lot of time by themselves. We’ve learnt that it really is the simple things in life that mean a lot when you get older – talking to others, having someone ask how you are or eating a delicious, hot meal. That’s something we’ve been able to do and by just giving a little of our time its been so rewarding.

The Winterbotham Darby team with the Mayor to receive their Volunteering Award
The Winterbotham Darby team with the Mayor to receive their Volunteering Award

So it was a double bonus when we heard we’d won an award from the local mayor. Each year the Mayor chooses local individuals and businesses who deserve recognition for their time and effort in volunteering. Winterbotham Darby were named as the winners of the Business award. In the citation that was read out, the Mayor said,

The staff form a good rapport with the members who are always thrilled that young people were taking an interest and giving up their time.
Winterbotham Darby have been a real support to Reigate and Redhill Live at Home Scheme over the years, which means such a lot. Their support is really appreciated.

Read more about the Mayor’s Volunteer Awards 2016.