Sometimes I feel that way! I must say a hundred times a year that CMJ UK Head Office would cease to function without the amazing team of volunteers, who regularly selflessly give of their time and energy to support the paid staff at Eagle Lodge.

Sometimes I feel that way! Like a broken record! I must say a hundred times a year that CMJ UK Head Office would cease to function without the amazing team of volunteers, who regularly selflessly give of their time and energy to support the paid staff at Eagle Lodge.  Every December, I have the opportunity to demonstrate in a tangible way our appreciation for their hard work and relentless support, in the form of the annual Christmas Volunteer Lunch.

This year, Wednesday 3rd December was that day! Having recovered from the shock of thinking I needed to get up at 4am to cook the turkey (21lbs – but really – FOUR AM???), I then read the wrapper of the turkey itself and learned that actually 6am would suffice – phew!!!  Alison Bowell, one of our valued volunteers who is also a staff member (she is our faithful and hardworking cleaner), helped me in the kitchen through the morning as we worked out how to cook everything for 24 hungry people, keep it hot and also fresh and tasty!  The volunteers arrived and I found the biggest fight then was to keep them from joining with the Christmas lunch preparation – somehow, you can’t switch them off! They wanted to work but I was determined not to let them!

There was a lovely buzz of conversation as people, who usually volunteer on different days and only meet at this annual event, catch-up with one another or meet for the first time.  Of course, even with such high class people, there is always the descent into teenage behaviour as someone (mentioning no names, David and Mel!) had sneaked in a couple of play guns, which quickly saw all chaos let loose!  After much laughter, consumption of quite a few calories and mountains of washing-up, the group began to disperse and wend their way home, rendering the office back to a sort of post-Christmas lunch calmness. 

Somehow, a lunch lasting a couple of hours seems a very small thank you for hours of the hard work our volunteer team put in throughout the year. It’s our great privilege to do this – and there is such a lovely atmosphere as we all fellowship together.  I give in to the relentless offer of help from our honoured guests as the tables are put away and all the chairs stacked!!

Now that it’s all over, I’ll go back to being a stuck record and repeat the message I hope each one of our volunteers receives: THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU – YOU ARE AMAZING AND WE COULDN’T FUNCTION WITHOUT YOU!

Posted by Jacki Turnbull on .

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