Christmas at SRSB is always fun, with lots of things to do for clients, supporters and volunteers. I bet the staff have a bit of a party too!
Last year was a pretty rubbish year for me health wise so I had to take quite a long time off from the blog. By Christmas I was just about ready to come back and see everyone again. So I decided to go to the volunteers party and to one of the Christmas lunches. I was really nervous before the volunteers party. It sounds a bit silly but it had been three months since I had last been to SRSB or seen anybody from SRSB. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go, but I knew I would enjoy it when I got there. It was just my brain confusing me with negative thoughts as usual. I always used to follow these thoughts because they say you should always go with your gut instinct. I have learnt over the years that my gut instinct seems to be faulty. So I do the opposite! I am better off for doing it that way. As I expected, my gut instinct was wrong. I did enjoy myself. There were friends, food, music, coffee and Christmas sparkle. What else could I possibly want? I got lots of hugs and people saying they were glad to see me back. That always means a great deal to me, feeling loved and wanted and missed if I’m not around. So I left the party feeling very happy and excited to start work again in the new year. SRSB is such a lovely, friendly place. I always leave feeling warm and happy. It is just one of those places that you walk in to and instantly you feel the love, you feel welcome and you feel at home. There aren’t many places where you get that feeling. Especially when you are visually impaired. You are never made to feel awkward or different. Sight loss is our way of living here, it’s how we function, it’s how we work, it’s what we are respected for and we are always made to feel normal. As if there is no different, as if the outside world doesn’t exist.
When I came for Christmas lunch I arranged it well so that I could go in the same day as some of my friends. There is always a Christmas tree in reception and they have Gerry Kersey from BBC Radio Sheffield to come and switch on the lights. They make it an event every year and have a few songs and a bit of a get together. When you go through into the dining area the room looks huge with a very long table. It’s a bit noisy and scary at first but I got used to it. The table was set with Christmas table cloths and crackers and napkins. All very festive. The arts and crafts group had made some decorations for the walls. The meal was cooked and served by mostly volunteers. They will have had so much hard work to do even just on one day. There is a Christmas lunch every say for five days so they must have been exhausted. They did a brilliant job though. They have a raffle on each day and I won so many prizes I felt really guilty about it. I offered some of my prizes to people but nobody would take them! I thought about sharing them with everyone in the office but the only one I could really share was the selection box and that was mine! Sorry :-) I heard that the day before I went, some of the Sheffield Wednesday players visited SRSB, so you never know who you might bump in to.
Being in such a friendly and festive environment really cheered me up. It felt like I hadn’t been away and I was really looking forward to starting volunteering again in the new year.
Now I am back and can’t wait to hear from you and all about what you have been up to recently. Please share it with us so we can use it on the blog. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively you can speak to Jane or me, Amy, in the Mappin Street Centre.