What a difference a week in Paddington makes...

Good will and Christmas spirit were running high in Paddington last week as 50 volunteers from four different companies took on the challenge of cooking a 3-course Christmas lunch, decorating corridors at a women’s shelter, helping to run one of North Paddington Food Bank’s busiest sessions, supervising a beginners' IT class and hosting the inaugural Christmas party for members of older people’s charity, Open Age.

Simon and Lee from the Marks and Spencer Franchise Team did a sterling job serving refreshments at the Open Age Chirstmas Party

“It was so lovely to have such a group of genuinely enthusiastic volunteers from start to finish. They looked fab in their Christmas jumpers and just got stuck in from decorating at the start to tidying away at the end. It was genuinely one of the most positive volunteer experiences I have had as they just used their initiative and got stuck in helping members. It was also unbelievably generous of them to bring the sandwiches and donate 7 Christmas trees - our future Christmases at Avenues will look amazing.”    

Claire Hoggan, Westminster Open Age Hub Manager

Luca Antifora arrives at Sheldon Square to cheers of support from his Vodafone colleagues

The Partnership was also privileged to help welcome Luca Antifora to Paddington. Luca is a Vodafone Luxembourg employee who was paralysed in 2015 following a tragic accident. To help fundraise for the 50,000 Euro ExoSkeleton that will enable Luca to walk again, 30 of his colleagues walked the 600km from Luxembourg to London. Luca joined the walkers for the final stretch up Kingdom Street to cheers of applause, chanting and not a dry eye amongst the crowds.

A final highlight was having the opportunity to join staff from across the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust at St James's Church Paddington on Wednesday evening to perform Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and the jolly Gardner version of the Holly and the Ivy. The concert raised £2,000 for the Imperial Health Charity's Wishing Tree Appeal, which this year is supporting the hospitals' hardship fund for patients facing extreme financial difficulty.

Imperial Health Charity Choir conducted by Anna Lush perform at St James's Church, Paddington

Weeks like last week where we see such a surge in community activity and giving are fantastic but they’re needed all year round. The Paddington Partnership is perfectly placed to support you and your colleagues to make a difference on your (work) doorstep, so do get in touch in 2018 to see how you could get involved.