Turning the tables - church to cook Christmas dinner for dedicated day centre volunteers

Brandon Day Centre. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Brandon Day Centre. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

At Christmas time, it is often hard-working day care centre staff giving up their time to put up the festive decorations and roast the turkey for the benefit of others.

Brandon Day Centre. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Brandon Day Centre. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

But this year, the tables are set to be turned – as a church waits on dedicated workers and volunteers to thank them for their amazing service.

Brandon Full Gospel Church, also known as The Harvest Centre, holds a Christmas meal every year for church volunteers, leaders and elderly worshippers.

But worship leader Rob McCarthy said: 'This year we thought it would be fitting to go outside of our norm and recognise those that have worked hard over the past year for people in our communities.'

For its first year, it has selected Brandon Day Centre as being one of the many organisations in the town worthy of a couple of hours where they can sit back and enjoy being wined and dined.

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'We just thought these are guys that work really hard and that we'd honour them with a Christmas meal,' said Mr McCarthy, who will be one of those rolling up his sleeves to serve, cook and clean at the event on Saturday, December 9.

'There are some people who are employed there and, for those guys, it is a calling to care for others.

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'For the people who are volunteers, they just take that time out. There are some who sit and talk to residents, others that will make them drinks and some that are just there as a listening ear so they are not on their own.

'As a church it's a key time for us to be reaching out to celebrate the fact Jesus came to serve at Christmas. We're replicating what Jesus did by serving the community.

'The whole motivation is that it is a good gift and lifts their spirits.

'There's no hidden agenda – it's just about recognising that people work hard.

'Outreach work is about reaching out to people with no hidden agenda, and that's what we're doing.

'We don't ask people for money and if they don't come to church, that's their call. It's just about doing good for the community.'

Mr McCarthy said the day centre volunteers were 'surprised and shocked and that someone would recognise what they do normally as something quite special'. He added: 'They're overwhelmed that we want to do that for them.'

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