It’s crazy to think about, but we’re already less than two months out from Christmas, which means the team at Mission Australia are in preparations for the country’s largest Christmas lunch – right here in WA.
Christmas Lunch In The Park takes place on December 25, and will see around 1200 guests experiencing homelessness or disadvantage come together for a shared lunch, companionship, support and some entertainment.
Of course an event of this size couldn’t operate with out the help of hundreds of volunteers, and West Aussies are being urged to sign up to join the army of helpers required to help the day run smoothly. Taking place in the recently upgraded Wellington Square, they’re hoping for around 400 volunteers to make the event a reality.
Mission Australia Event Manager Georgina Westgarth said the event would not be possible without them: “Christmas Lunch in the Park relies on the generosity of Perth locals to help ensure our most vulnerable have somewhere to go, eat and someone to talk to on Christmas day,” she said. “There were more than 1200 attendees in 2020. For many, without the event, they would be alone on Christmas… There’s many ways you can help, whether that is though helping set up, hosting tables, serving food or helping to clean up.”
Gianna Vogels is one such volunteer, who’s been helping for 18 years and was looking forward to returning this year: “I first heard about CLIP from friends and then I heard on the radio they needed volunteers,” the 81-year-old said. “There are lots of lonely and marginalised people at Christmas time, people who have fallen on hard times… Volunteering is a great opportunity to share some Christmas joy for people who might otherwise have nowhere to go.”
Volunteer applications are now open, and you have until November 16 to register via this link.