Christmas Around The Regions - 2016
- Published on Thursday, 12 January 2017 14:20
Every single Year it just gets better and better and better.....
Every Year in Right of Place Second Chance we host a wonderful day for some of our service users and every year without fail we are unfortunately oversubscribed. To many Christmas is a wonderful time full of cheer, merriment and time spent with loved ones and to some its a time of loneliness, isolation and can be difficult.
So this year we decided to make our Christmas day extend to something even bigger and better every year. So much so that we had some Survivors again asking us how does it keep on getting better and better and better every year. Well the answer is simple - it's because of them, our wonderful volunteers and our dedicated staff who strive to work together to create a bit of magic at Christmas!
Before we even begin to explain how Christmas was celebrated across the regions, I think its important to note those that gave their time freely this Christmas period and I can begin with;
Micheál Walsh - who spent 10 Hours in the office on Christmas Eve, calling over 50 Survivors to wish them a happy Christmas and to tell them Right of Place Second Chance was thinking of them, completely voluntarily.
Trish, Pascale and Michael - For ensuring everything was arranged, wrapping presents, sending invites and generally helping out on the day.
Cartamundi - For their continued donation of many Board games for Survivors and their children/Grandchildren.
The Butler Family - Who donated not one, but TWO €40 Dunnes Vouchers
The Granville & Dooleys Hotel - Who once again donated a Meal Voucher each, valued at €50 per one.
Boots, Sam McCauleys and Powers Chemist - For their donation of several beauty products, Lynx/Nivea hampers and vouchers.
GM Catering - who done an unbelievable Christmas dinner with all the Trimmings (and a fantastic desert)
House of Waterford Crystal - A special thanks to Waterford Crystal for the personal/VIP tour of their world-famous factory in Waterford City.
To all the other individuals, business and the Volunteers (Particularly Trish & Michael) who helped out on the day - many thanks.
The Invitations were the first things that were designed and delivered to each of the clients who were to attend. Each individual got a personalised invitation to attend the event and to RSVP with their local office.
After this, Trish, Micheál and Pascale decided to wrap all the presents individually so that they could be drawn by whoever the individual was who was lucky to get a present (although every Survivor left the event with at least one, two and in some cases three presents.) This took a lot of time, but this year there was such an excellent range that everybody left extremely happy with the items that they received.
A special Tour
Next up and before the dinner was a pre-arranged special tour of the House of Waterford Crystal. This was arranged free of charge by Waterford Crystal and truly was a remarkable experience as the VIP treatment we received was fantastic. It was so warmly received that even a Kilkenny man; couldn't help but appreciate the excellence of Waterford Crystal.
During this one hour tour, the 25 that attended we treated to a wonderful display of some of the most iconic pieces of Crystal in the world. The Crystal Ball that drops in Times Square every New Year, the Players Trophy (often considered Golf's 5th Major) and even the American People's Choice Awards previously won by such esteemed people as Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Bullock were all shown to our Survivors.
Some even got their hands on one (and who's to say they won't be the Next winner of the Players Championship)
All Survivors got the chance to blow the glass, watch it being handcrafted and see the process in its entirety.
To say this was a truly remarkable experience would be an understatement. Its not hard to see why the Crystal Factory is one of Ireland's most visited attractions and a special thanks to all at the House of Waterford Crystal for their kindness.
Next came the dinner across the regions. In total, there was roughly 50 individuals across the regions who availed of the Christmas Dinner.
We even made a couple of special deliveries to two individuals who were recovering from recent stays in hospital to drop them up a dinner and of course their present.
A full Chicken and Ham roast was on the menu and our Survivors in Cork had a particualrly unusual Chinese dinner for Christmas Dinner - but it was what they had hoped for and it was what we were able to supply them with.
World Famous Sing Song
Towards the end of the evening Right of Place Second Chance's now legendary Sing song busted out.
Our Chairperson brought his guitar to play a bit of backing track and in a weird twist, Jack from Kilkenny decided to sing the Rose of Mooncoin and I'm sure he dedicated it to Micheál Walsh our Outreach Officer based in the Waterford Region.
(Although I'm sure this had something to do with the gentle conversation about the Border Extension of Waterford City - but let's not go there again.)
Some got up and recited poems and gave a few jokes. Dick even stood up and regaled us of tales of his sea faring days which were both fascinating and unbelievably exciting. Generally it was a wonderful way to end what was a wonderful event.
It was celebrated differently in each region and for those who could not come due to health reasons, we were delighted to bring them a bit of cheer this Christmas period too.
All in all, it was a day that truly is getting better and better and better every year. Here's to many more and a Very happy New Year to all of those that contact us seeking our support and offering us encouragement and to all Survivors and their families may 2017 be a prosperous and happy one!!