Over 100 free Christmas lunches were cooked and served to homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless at Buckland Community Centre in Portsmouth by a team of volunteers from The Southern Co-operative (Wednesday 11 December).
The Southern Co-operative (TSC) liaised with Two Saints, Central Point and PARCS to provide the free two course lunch for the people that these organisations help. Andreea Tudor, Corporate Marketing Assistant at The Southern Co-operative, who organised the lunch, said: “Our guests enjoyed a choice of roast turkey or beef with all the trimmings followed by mince pies with custard or cream and tea or coffee, which was all donated by The Southern Co-operative. Father Christmas called in to see the little ones and we also distributed goody bags of tinned food from Portsmouth Foodbank. We had masses of clothes, shoes and toiletries to give away as well, which had kindly been donated by customers at our Portsmouth stores and Homeware Essentials wholesalers.”
Andreea added: “It was lovely for us to give something back to the community at what can be a difficult time of year, and the lunch went down very well. Not only that, but there was a real team spirit as 30 colleagues including our Vice Chairman, Chief Operating Officer for Retail, together with customer service assistants from our stores, bereavement centre and office colleagues, funeral co-ordinators and area managers from across the business got hands-on; from peeling the sprouts and laying the tables to cooking, serving and clearing away!” The Southern Co-operative actively encourages colleagues working for the Society to volunteer in work time; in the past ten months they have given over 4,215 hours of volunteer time back to the community across the south.