Our very first Christmas party took place on Saturday the 16th of December, bringing together 130 clients and 38 volunteers.
This was our biggest party yet and our first collaboration with Edge Grove School in Aldenham. In this short interview, Edge Grove party mastermind Alex Evans discusses her motivations for supporting the charity and the special moments which showed her that the months of planning had paid off.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you heard about WTRRP?
I’ve been at Edge Grove School since 2012 – my husband is head teacher there. Before Edge Grove I studied environmental science and worked on water and sanitation projects in developing countries around the world.
I first heard about WTRRP when another teacher suggested that we give our harvest festival donations to the charity, which we did. Then I came along to your AGM last year and was inspired by the stories of the people the charity is helping.
Fast forward to the 16th of December – what were your feelings when 160 people arrived on your doorstep?
We were ready! Our original plan was to do just the Santa’s grotto – to keep it small and simple. But then we thought ‘why not have some games in the sports hall?’, and then we thought ‘we’ve got to have food’ so it grew and grew! All the planning meant we were well prepared when everyone arrived.
It was slightly nerve-wracking on the day as the heating didn’t come on and it was a little nippy… Then the maintenance team came in, sorted it and we were good to go!
What was the most rewarding thing about organising the party?
Seeing all the children playing with each other and witnessing their excitement at going into Santa’s grotto for a story and a gift.
As there were so many volunteers there, we were able to give some of the parents a rest! I remember seeing one mother whose two young children were charging around the sports hall. She was following them and looked thoroughly exhausted! So I said ‘do you want someone to help’?
Our deputy head went off and played with her children giving her time to chat to the other adults and have a rest. That was a special moment for me.