Christmas is a Time for Giving
Jane is a finance officer here at Kaleidoscope and this week she celebrated a milestone Birthday. She disclosed some time back that she had never been on a bouncy castle, and her close colleague Danielle decided that this should be put right. So, as the office celebrated her birthday earlier this week, a Bouncy Castle was put in the car park for her and the team to take a bounce! For me, it is one of the highlights of the year, as it was such a thoughtful gesture and a fun way to share in Jane’s special birthday.
The theme of giving though, is not so much in a material gift – it is the thought that goes with the gift that is the special thing. Experiences are often more valuable than a physical gift, it would seem.
One of the best Christmas programmes for me this year has been ‘This is my Song’. The idea of the programme is to invite ordinary people to create a track with the best musical producers either for themselves or for someone they care for. The power of the show is in the simple idea of the transformational power of music.
In many cities across the UK we are seeing the spirit of Christmas come alive with many churches and community groups supporting the homeless. One of the best stories came from Hull. A Charity there wanted to provide a two-night stay at a hotel in the area for some of the neediest homeless people in the City. The hotel in question however, refused the booking but in a lovely turn of events, the Doubletree, Hilton has offered accommodation and free of charge. Of course this will not solve homelessness, but gestures are important, and providing a Happy Christmas to the most needy is wonderful to see.
In another lovely gesture, the King of the Jungle, Harry Redknapp has donated jam roly poly puddings to the homeless in his home city of Bournemouth. Which is a thoughtful but fun gift to give!
Naturally our thoughts are with vulnerable people and I know many of our staff will be doing all they can to make Christmas this year special. We also recognise that we need to ensure that help is not given just at Christmas, it needs to last all year through. I am delighted to be working with Cardiff Council this year on their Rough Sleepers initiative. One of their priorities is to ensure those Rough Sleepers have rapid access into prescribing services and with our partners G4S, we very much hope to put this in place in the New Year. We know that if we can stabilise a person’s drug use, their chances of getting long term accommodation becomes easier. Providing good, accessible services is important but in addition, services need to treat people with respect and dignity. It is why the gesture in Hull for me is so moving; it is not simply a floor at a community centre that is being offered, but first class accommodation with food. This is a true Christmas message, that the baby Jesus born in a stable is the true King, not a man with a crown and all the finery of office.
So, as I finish my last blog of the year all I can say is have a wonderful Christmas and let’s hope for a New Year where everyone benefits from the prosperity of this Country.