A Season of Peace
Thank you for wanting to help out!
If you have any questions about volunteering with Sant'Egidio this year, please feel free to read below.
Christmas Volunteering FAQs
If you have not yet heard about our Christmas volunteering opportunity, please read the general information on our Christmas page before reading the below.
1. I've just signed up, what happens next?
Thank you so much for signing up! You will shortly receive an email with all of the appointments you have signed up for. Please save it or bookmark it and make sure you add all the events you signed up for in your calendar. All you need to do next is attend the events you signed up for, whether it is the training sessions, the gift wrapping sessions, or anything else.
2. Where are the events taking place?
The Christmas meal and all other events are going to be at:
St. Cuthbert's Church Earls Court
50 Philbeach Gardens
3. How do I reach the venue?
One of the easiest ways to get to St. Cuthbert's Church is to get the tube to Earls Court station and get out from the Warwick Road entrance. When you exit, turn right (you should be following the car flow) and cross that road. You will encounter a pedestrian sign that will lead you to St. Cuthbert's Church.
4. Is there parking available?
There is only street parking available, no designated parking places for the church. If you have signed up to help with a car, then we may be able to help with congestion charge fees, but only if we know in advance, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience.
5. I did not receive the confirmation email. What do I do?
Please check your spam folder. If you find the confirmation email there, mark it as 'not spam' with your email provider. If you still cannot find the confirmation email after checking your spam, please email us at email@example.com
6. Do I have to come to the training session?
If you are volunteering with us on 23rd December, yes.
If you are not volunteering with us on 23rd December, you do not need to attend.
7. What does the training session involve?
At the training session you will:
Get to know some of the coordinators and other volunteers
Get an understanding of Sant'Egidio's activities and mission
Be able to ask questions about the event involving relatives and friends participation, kids' participation and anything else
Get introduced to health and safety precautions and policies
Learn what to do and how to do it on the day
Confirm your volunteering location, team and time slot
Be fully briefed about emergencies, health and safety and safeguarding
Talk about any further help you can give to promote the event
8. How long will the training session last?
We will do all we can to keep it under one hour, but please be patient with us as we might be running slightly later than one hour depending on how many we will be.
9. I signed up to help for the Christmas meal. What will I be doing?
You will be fully briefed during the training session about tasks to do on the day. These may include: welcoming helpers and guests, sitting down with guests and keeping the conversation going, serving guests, preparing tea ad coffee, entertaining and giving presents as part of Santa's team. It is all fun, we promise - we want you to have a wonderful Christmas meal just like our guests!
10. What time does the Christmas meal event start and end?
The guests are invited to come from 3pm to 5pm.
There is quite a lot of preparation involved, as we are expecting a few hundred guests altogether. In terms of helping out (ie. being a volunteer for the event), there are three possible slots which you can choose for the day.
Option 1: Select this option if you would like to help in the kitchen (roughly 9am to 5pm)
Option 2: 11am to 8pm (choose this option if you would like to help out the whole day)
Option 2: 11am to 6pm (choose this option if you would like to help up until the end of the meal)
Option 3: 6pm to 9pm (choose this option if you would like to help us clean up)
It is very important to come at your allocated start time and finish at your chosen slot time: this would help us greatly in making sure you have the best possible time when you are with us, and allows us to guarantee the best health and safety procedures throughout the event.
11. Can I bring my children?
Yes, you may bring your children. For anyone under the age of 13, we ask for the parent/guardian to be present with them and to be responsible for them at all times. For anyone older than 13 and younger than 18, we ask for parental consent to be given in writing (ie. that explicitly says the teen can participate in the volunteering activities) during the training session. You can find the parental consent form here. Please bring it with you when you come to training.
Teenagers will be asked to participate in a satellite event in a care home (ie. gather presents, gift-wrap them and visit older people in care home to bring gifts to them there). Anyone over 13 with a parental consent form will be able to participate in this. If younger kids want to participate, children must be accompanied by their guardian/parent during the service.
When filling out the form to sign up as volunteer, please remember to fill out a separate online form for all the participant children (it is possible of course put the child name and last name and the parent/guardian email). Each participant, no matter whether accompanied by an adult or not, must have signed up separately. We need to know for health and safety reasons.
12. How old do I have to be to volunteer?
You may be as young or as old as you are. We welcome helpers of all ages (see previous question for specifications regarding children's participation). Just let us know during the training if you have any specific needs in order to participate. We will try to accommodate all needs as much as we possibly can.
13. Do I need prior volunteering experience in order to help out?
No. We welcome everyone: all backgrounds, all cultures, all experience levels accepted. However, if you do have particular talent or experience in a sector, please let us know when filling out the volunteering signup form (the second to last question is all about that) and/or at the training session.
14. I cannot come for the Christmas meal. Can I still help?
Yes, you can. Please still fill out the volunteering sign up form, as there is a question there that will ask you whether you can help before 23rd December. There is also another question where you can specify that you will be only helping before 23rd and not on the day of the Christmas meal. We also have outreach services to homeless and older people throughout the year, so feel free to keep in touch!
15. I'm so excited. How can I prepare for the event?
That's what we want to hear! We are also excited to have you on board. You can prepare for the event by sharing it with friends, sustaining our fundraiser and simply spread the word however you can. We all know we need to spread kindness in this world: what better way than asking others to be part of the fun this Christmas! Feel free to visit our Christmas Giving and Christmas Sharing pages.