60 of our older guests were invited along to Sidcup Fire Station on Sunday for a tea party, as part of a community initiative organised by Watch Manager Neil Fox and his team.
The station have been working closely with Contact the Elderly to tackle social isolation in Bexley for the past seven years, and have put on a number of events, including an annual Christmas dinner and summer trips to the seaside.
Guests were treated to a delicious tea party spread made by the firefighters in between fire calls, and given the opportunity to sit in the fire engine. Martha, 96, said “I’ve always dreamed about going in a fire engine. Another thing ticked off the bucket list!” The party ended with a game of bingo where guests and volunteers could win a jackpot prize.
Neil Fox, Watch Manager, said “This is the seventh year we've hosted and everything runs like clockwork with the Group Coordinators and helpers mucking in with jobs to be done. For me the highlight of the day is to sit back and watch our guests just talking away, smiling and enjoying the surroundings. Putting something back into the community makes such a difference to people's lives, just a small amount of effort on our part can have a huge effect on others and leave lasting memories for those who can sometimes be forgotten about at their most important time of life."
The team’s hard work has not gone unnoticed in the local community, and in June they received the ‘Inspirational Team Award’ at the Bexley Volunteer Awards. Alison Minney, Development Officer for East London, said “The support Neil and his team have given us over the years has been incredible and we were so happy they were recognised in this way.”