Giving back to lend a helping hand over the holidays

The festive period brings around time for reflection and gratitude. In this blog we share how some of the Obelisk Support central team are giving back to the communities we live in.

# Daniela Garcia, Consultant Experience Manager

 

How do you like to give back during the festive period?

I have volunteered in humanitarian projects aiding refugees for quite a few years now, and whilst I do no longer travel out to France, there are many ways I try to help out and you can too! Whether through donations (money or goods), fundraising or campaigning, there are several ways to take action.

Do check out Choose Love and Care4Calais 

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

I travelled out to France in 2015 after seeing the news of the drowning of Alan Kurdi. I came to the UK as a migrant myself after an earthquake that destroyed my home in Armenia- Colombia in 1999 and left me and my family destitute, thanks to help that we received from volunteers overseas, we were able to get back on our feet.

Being in a position to provide my time and financial support, I decided to join a convoy traveling to Calais and we distributed over a thousand food bags, what was supposed to be a 2-day trip, turned out to be an operation that lasted over 4 years.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite festive tradition?

I didn’t grow up with the concept of Santa Clause bringing presents, in Colombia as in several countries it is the Christ Child who is the gift bringer, we are only allowed to open presents at the strike of midnight on 24th December. I still wait until it hits 12am before opening my presents, it certainly beats having to wait until the next morning to open them!

# Laura Vosper, Head of Talent

 

How do you like giving back during the festive period?

I think it’s really important that we keep supporting our local foodbanks if we can, so as well as donating food and treats to the community foodbank our local school runs, I also donate money to the Trussell Trust.

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

Sadly there are thousands of people who rely on foodbanks in order to keep going, especially this year. The Trussell Trust provides a network of support around the UK and donating money means they can provide exactly what’s needed in different areas.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite festive tradition?

My favourite tradition is to have some quiet time on my own listening to the Carols from Kings and wrapping presents on Christmas Eve, ideally with a hot chocolate or mulled wine!

# Reef Moghul, Client Account Manager

 

How do you like giving back during the holiday period?

As I don’t celebrate Christmas in the traditional way, I opt to give extra to food banks and especially baby banks such as Little Village, The Baby Bank and Stripey Storks during this time of the year. I donate festive food which people may miss due to low income and ensure there’s enough to go round in my local area. I also shop for sale toys throughout the year and donate these to our local baby banks for smaller children to enjoy their holiday.

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

I believe every child should have the same chance to thrive. Baby banks provide critical support and aim to empower families by ensuring as many children as possible have the essential items they need as they start out in life. It is also a great way to get my children involved and role modelling helping others and how acts of kindness can positively impact the lives of others.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite holiday tradition?

Getting together with family, focusing on the children with gift giving and gingerbread house competitions!

I choose baby banks and children’s charities as I believe the true magic and spirit of Christmas sits with children. No child should feel excluded or think Santa has forgotten.”

Reef Moghul

Client Account Manager, Obelisk Support

# Jane Leader, Recruitment Manager

 

How do you like giving back during the festive period?

We tend to donate food and other grocery items at our local Tesco store; they partner with a number of charities and in December work closely with the Trussell Trust and FareShare.

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

They provide emergency food parcels and additional support to families in need. I can only imagine how much of an increase in demand these charities are seeing this winter and it’s a good way of supporting local people in a simple and practical way.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite festive tradition?

A Christmas morning dog walk with the family and a glass of mulled wine at our local pub.

# Naz Khanom, IT and Operations Manager

 

How do you like giving back during the festive period?

I like to donate food or goods to the Trussell Trust.

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

I do this because it’s a reminder to show gratitude for the smaller life luxuries we can afford and that for some people in the world these are necessities to survive every day, that they can’t afford. It’s easy for some us to get caught up in material possessions but there are far greater things in life that place more importance.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite festive tradition?

I always put the Christmas decorations up with my niece and watch the Polar Express, “Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate!”

# Will Stephens, CFO

 

How do you like giving back during the festive period?

This year I have given the Alzheimer’s Society and have also committed to regular donations to Gt Ormand Street Hospital.

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

My mother has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed a few years ago, and it has since effectively taken her from us bit by bit. It is such a terrible disease.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite festive tradition?

Chestnut stuffing! I remember cooking chestnuts in the fire at home on Christmas eve and then peeling them ready for cooking the next day. It’s just not Christmas without them!

# Haidee Stephens, Finance Officer

 

How do you like giving back during the festive period?

I volunteer all year round at our local Food bank – actually it’s less about being worthy and more giving in to my need to get out of the house and indulge myself with sorting and organising (baked beans and pasta) if I’m completely honest.

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

Storehouse Food Bank is run by brilliant people who have become friends.  It is a great exemplar of intelligent charity as, although no-one is turned away unfed, they address the causes of individuals’ food poverty and signpost people to support organisations in quite a firm way, so it’s not an empty handout.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite festive tradition?

Putting up the tree…or Christmas morning homemade sausage rolls – one or the other

# Louisa van Eeden-Smit

 

How do you like giving back during the festive period?

During the festive period I see too often too many people sleeping outside during the dark and cold nights, subsequently I choose to support Crisis at Christmas.

Why is this charity so close to your heart?

The work Crisis at Christmas do to give those without homes support over the festive period is incredible. Speaking to those that come to the shelters during this period brings home to me how vulnerable we all are and how far kindness and empathy can go to make a difference.

Before you go, can you tell us your favourite festive tradition?

Attending the Christingle and Nativity services at our local church. For me Christmas starts when my children create their Christingles and the excitement just keeps building from there! The joy in their eyes as the candles are lit and they can dress up for the Nativity reminds me of the hope that this festive season brings.

 

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