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Airport volunteers lend a helping hand in the local community this Christmas

23 Dec Airport volunteers lend a helping hand in the local community this Christmas

Teams of Stansted Airport elves have been out and about in the community spreading some festive cheer and supporting local good causes in the run-up to Christmas.

While passengers jet off on their winter holidays, 100 airport volunteers have been lending a festive hand to dozens of community projects in Harlow, Bishop’s Stortford and Saffron Waldon during December.

Operational teams and office staff have been giving up their time to help out at local foodbanks, serve Christmas lunches to the elderly, deliver presents to children in hospital and spruce up a children’s nursery.

Airport manager and Harlow resident, Neil Banks, rounded up his team to double up as waiters and bartenders and serve Christmas lunch to a group of pensioners at Harlow Rugby Club. He said:

“There is nothing more rewarding than helping out someone that needs support, especially at this time of year. Whether it’s at the foodbank making up weekly packs for families or preparing and serving dinners to pensioners at a Christmas lunch, the feeling that you are just doing your bit is always welcomed, it’s a humbling and rewarding experience all at once.”

Meanwhile ten airport security officers swapped their uniforms for overalls to redecorate the nursery at Grove Cottage, the home of Mencap in Bishop’s Stortford.

Monica Baker, Volunteer Coordinator at Grove Cottage, said:

“The volunteers were absolutely fantastic! They worked so hard and achieved so much. We are very grateful to them for giving their time to help us. Our members will be thrilled with their bright and fresh room when they return after Christmas.”

Jamie-Lee Enderson, from Stansted’s community relations team, co-ordinated an airport shoebox appeal, collecting 100 shoe boxes filled with Christmas gifts and essentials for children and elderly patients at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. Jamie-Lee said:

“This has been such a wonderful initiative that I’m delighted so many of our colleagues have got involved in. Lots of us have the privilege of spending Christmas at home with our loved ones, however there are others who are not so fortunate. We wanted to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to our local hospital this Christmas by bringing presents to the patients in the Children’s ward, neonatal intensive care unit, and the care of the elderly ward. I hope they enjoy their gifts!”

20 boxes of food have also been donated to a local foodbank through the airport’s reverse advent calendar appeal. Instead of receiving a chocolate for each day in December, staff donated an item of food every day for 24 days to the Uttlesford Foodbank.

Over the past year more than 350 airport employees have given over 7000 hours of their time to their local community. The airport continuously encourages its employees to contribute their skills on a volunteer basis not only to strengthen ties with the local community, which colleagues and passenger live and work, but to also support employee wellbeing and engagement.