Volunteers from a Derby company swapped their pens for serving spoons when they cooked up lunches for the community.
HR & Employment company Precept – part of the Barron McCann group – took part in the YMCA Derbyshire Community Meal which, in collaboration with local mental health charity Head High, gives local businesses and community groups the opportunity to provide a nourishing meal for people who might be feeling isolated.
They served traditional Australian pie, mash and peas followed by Lamingtons – a butter cake coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut that is popular Down Under – to mark Australia Day. Precept staff also donned comedy hats decorated with miniature corks, and themed the dining room accordingly.
More than 100 people attended the event at the YMCA, in London Road, which is aimed at combatting loneliness, a major cause of mental health problems amongst adults.
Also enjoying lunch were members of YMCA in Capetown, who were visiting the city to hear of the successful projects that their counterparts in Derby have been involved with. Pictures of the day were also sent to the YMCA in Australia to showcase celebrations of their national day.
As well as supporting the YMCA’s Community Meal, Precept are also Derby County Community Trust partners and donate to the Mortgage Advice Bureau Foundation. They support S.H.E. UK, too; a charity based in Nottinghamshire that offers support for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, exploitation and sexual violence.
Rob Tice, Managing Director of Precept, said: “When we heard about the community meal, we thought that it would be a great way of supporting the YMCA in a practical way. We had some guidance about quantities – we have never cooked for such large numbers before – and staff at the YMCA were really helpful.”
Emma Tice, who is Head of HR & Employment Law at the firm – and who had spent 11-and-a-half-hours preparing the Lamingtons the day before – said: “We wanted to bring a bit of fun to the day, and I think we certainly did that.
“Precept will certainly be joining forces with the YMCA again and we’re currently exploring how the partnership can be developed.”
Rob added: “We found it hard work but a great team-building exercise and we all found it very rewarding. The best part, for me, was meeting and spending time with the people who attended the lunch. We’d highly recommend that other community groups and businesses get involved.”