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At Residential Land we are firm believers in the idea that giving is better than receiving, and several members of the Resi team have gone above and beyond this year to bring festive cheer to those in need.

Tessa Ferguson volunteering at TABLE

TABLE is a community eating house created through the collaboration of StreetSmart, Somerset House and chefs from Spring restaurant. The homeless and vulnerably housed – plus the unsung heroes who work with these clients as part of charities, community groups and NGOs – were invited into the New Wing of Somerset House for two Christmas lunches that took place on Tuesday the 19th of December.

Our interior designer Tessa Ferguson volunteered to help set up and decorate the room on Monday 18th in time for lunch the next day.

“It was amazing, but extremely hard work,” says Tessa. “The Lancaster rooms are large with lots of windows, and Studio Buschow – an architect firm based in Somerset House – had put together a beautiful scheme for all the volunteers to work together on.

“The rooms are Grade II-listed and as a result nothing could be attached to the walls. The scheme involved a large structure made of scaffolding poles over which we hung 170 lanterns and over 200 laser cut wooden snowflakes. A farmer had donated huge bundles of branches, holly, yew and fir branches with which we adorned the four columns around the room and filled the window recesses.”  

“We had so much that we decorated the entrance and anteroom too, and it became quite magical as the day progressed.  With donations from the Residential Land office we managed to contribute 50 Secret Santa presents to the other donations that had accumulated throughout the day.”

Vanessa Lopez and Kamelia Todorova volunteering at Crisis

Crisis at Christmas provides immediate help for homeless people at a critical time of year. Volunteers with Crisis this Christmas  make a real difference to people experiencing homelessness by helping cook and serve meals, share their skills as a hairdresser, health professional or entertainer, or simply by chatting and playing games with our guests.

Residential Land’s Vanessa Lopez and Kamelia Todorova will be volunteering between the 24th and 31st of December, and Vanessa will be offering her time up for a staggering 12 shifts.

Vannessa Vaara volunteering for Open Door Meal

For many years, St James the Less Church has provided a hot meal – the Open Door Meal – to up to 150 homeless and vulnerably housed people every two weeks. It is almost entirely staffed by volunteers who cook the food, serve the guests and clear up afterwards.

St James the Less believes that while there are lots of day centres and soup runs in London, there are few places where homeless people and others can enjoy good food and socialise in a warm place in the evenings, so aims to help alleviate the loneliness and isolation that make it difficult for those who have lived on the streets.

Residential Land’s Vanessa Vaara will be helping with the running of the Christmas Open Door Meal on December 22nd.

Residential Land christmas jumper fundraiser

No office Christmas charity effort would be complete without a wacky christmas jumper day – so that’s exactly what we did in order to raise money for Save the Children.

Happy holidays everyone!