Jaime McDonald is a Practitioner who is based at The Erkenwald Centre in Barking and Dagenham. She’s been working at SHS for three years now. Over Christmas, thanks to corporate sponsors, we were able to give some of our schools £300 to spend on Christmas hampers. Jaime went the extra mile and took a colleague from The Erkenwald to their nearest Tesco.
The big shop
“It was such a fun experience,” Jaime said. “Lots of people thought that we were hoarding food due to the pandemic, and at one stage the security guards came over and asked us what we were up to…”
Jaime and her colleague loaded up their shopping trolleys with food for families. They bought a range of food including juices, cheeses, crackers, meat (Halal for Muslim families) and tins of Quality Street. When they went to bag up at the till, Tesco workers were amazed at what they were doing.
“I felt a real sense of pride”
Jaime divided the money between six families – each family getting £50 worth of shopping (around six bags). She then acted as a Christmas elf and delivered them to the families. “The response was incredible,” Jaime told us. “I felt a real sense of pride and achievement. SHS have done an amazing job and made a real difference to the lives of these families and I could really see that then.”
In addition to the Christmas food, Jaime also delivered gifts for the children, funded by some of our corporate sponsors, to the families she worked with. These included cosmetic products, footballs and art sets.
“It really brought a tear to my eye”
One of the parents who received these gifts was so speechless when Jaime delivered the gifts that she had to text her afterwards to thank her. “Sorry I was so speechless when you came over,” she said in the message. “I am so overwhelmed with the gift for my son and the amount of shopping I have received. It really brought a tear to my eye. You do not realise how much this means to us all and I can not thank you enough.