Volunteer Organisations at Christmas
Thanks to Alice Campion for this week’s blog contribution.
When we think of Christmas we think of family, fun, food and good times. But it’s also a time when volunteer organisations can fund raise, and celebrate the important work they have done throughout the year.
One of these organisations is The Makers Guild in Wales. The guild is an independent charitable organisation that was established in February 1984 and is still running today. Its aim was to bring together the talents of local crafts people in the Cardiff area and create beautiful, high quality work. The Maker’s guild made a huge impact within the arts community in Cardiff and many of their exhibitions toured the UK and Europe.
In December 1996, the charity celebrated their work with a Christmas extravaganza held in the old Techniquest building located in Cardiff Bay. The night started with a boom as a marching drum band accompanied the opening ceremony. The public could view the works of the Makers Guild in bliss as live music set a festive atmosphere within the exhibition. The varied work included sculptures in wood and ornate pieces of Jewellery, all made by the Guild.
You can see the Makers Guilds’ work on display at the Craft in the Bay gallery and shop opposite the Wales Millennium Centre.
Also celebrating a year of achievements were the Cardiff and Vale Scouts. On the 21st of December 1933, the scouts had their annual Christmas party. The scouts could enjoy an evening of fun and festivities with the rest of their patrol, and welcome in the festive season.
The Scouts association was formed in 1910, and by 1912 the association was incorporated throughout the whole of the British Empire. Their aim was for “the purpose of instructing boys of all classes in the principles of discipline, loyalty and good citizenship”. Today, the scouts are led by Chief scout, Bear Grylls.
South Glamorgan Intervol (Interrelation of volunteer services) was part of International Soroptimist Federation, and has been active since the 1980s. The sports and culture sub group, headed by Chairman Mr M. G. Davies reported on the volunteers of Ely hospital, who took part in various Christmas related fundraising activities. One of these was a Christmas fayre in December 1982, which raised money for the refurbishment of Ely swimming pool.
For some organisations, their important work does not end in December, and many groups continue to provide services for their community over the festive period.
Grangetown Community Concern, renamed Grangetown Community Action in 2016, is a volunteer organisation located in Grangetown. It acts as an umbrella group for other organisations and provides and encourages services for all ages but particularly focuses on the elderly. The society raises funds, runs toys drives, puts on public events and sponsors the ‘meals on legs’ programme.
On Christmas day the volunteers within the society run entertainment for the elderly or for those who are alone at Christmas time.
This is particularly moving, it truly embodies the Christmas spirit as the volunteers are giving up their day to help those less fortunate to celebrate Christmas. The society won the Queens Golden Jubilee award and continues to provide these important services for the community today.
It is important to remember that volunteers contribute a lot of free time to their organisations and work tirelessly throughout the year to give back to the community. At Christmas this work is particularly celebrated, whether this is creating beautiful exhibitions or providing Christmas services for those less fortunate. The community is always grateful for this, and from the Chronicle, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!