It’s going to be a tea fit for a queen when Oxford Fine Dining delivers 200 special volunteer boxes across Oxfordshire, judging by the contents.

Not only is the beautifully packaged afternoon tea box going to be hand delivered to each volunteers home, but it will include a homemade fruit scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream, freshly picked strawberries, a selection of finger sandwiches with traditional fillings, a white chocolate and raspberry blondie, a triple chocolate brownie, hand crafted chocolates, local craft beer for the gentleman and a mini floral bouquet for the ladies!

An Oxford Fine Dining tea

The Voluntary Services at OUH would ordinarily host an annual afternoon tea celebration in a hotel to say thank you to the volunteers for their invaluable contribution of their time, supporting health and care services within the community.

Instead they approached Oxford Fine Dining to deliver 200 traditional afternoon tea’s throughout Oxfordshire on Tuesday June 2 to enable the charity to still pay tribute to the volunteers by bringing the event to them. 

“Delivering these teas to 200 individual households across Oxfordshire in one afternoon is an unusual challenge to say the least!” Oxford Fine Dining’s Sue Randall said. “However, we knew we had to do whatever it took to support this event.  

“It would be useful to know how Father Christmas maps his delivery routes as that is the next important task!”

Bringing in some of Oxford Fine Dining’s event industry partners and their expertise to pull off the challenge Millets Farm immediately donated 200 homemade fruit scones and 50 punnets of freshly picked strawberries from their farm.

Flowers by Kirsty is creating 120 mini floral bouquets, Grape Minds in Summertown is supplying bottles of local craft beer for the gentlemen, Nood (read about Nood here) https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/competition-win-a-free-delivery-of-noods-exceptional-cakes-and-cookies-to-your-door/ is baking homemade blondies and brownies, Oxford Fine Dining staff are making 800 finger sandwiches and supplying hand crafted chocolates, all are helping with deliveries, alongside the Bodleian Libraries staff and That Event Company’s managing director.

Flowers by Kirsty

“Our staff are currently on furlough, however they have been volunteering their time from the beginning of the lockdown,” Sue adds. “Once our staff have prepared the 800 finger sandwiches on Monday, we will begin the task of packaging them ready for delivery.

“It would be useful to know how Father Christmas maps his delivery routes as that is the next important task!”

Since the lockdown began many weeks ago, here at Oxford Fine Dining we have been supporting Oxford Hospitals Charity. Every day we have prepared and delivered between 50-250 meals, 4025 to date, for NHS staff staying in local hotels, as they are unable to return home for fear of infecting their families.

Oxford Fine Dining has already pulled out all the stops to help feed the NHS since the pandemic began by preparing and delivering between 50-250 meals a day, 4025 to date, for NHS staff staying in local hotels unable to return home for fear of infecting their families, to support Oxford Hospitals Charity. Read about it here: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/how-oxford-fine-dining-has-stepped-in-to-feed-local-nhs-front-line-staff-despite-having-their-own-business-crisis-and-how-you-can-help/

“We are so delighted to help The Voluntary Services at OUH and reward their volunteers for all their hard work. It is quite a challenge but as soon as the proposal was given to us I immediately said yes and then started trying to work out the how’s and why’s.

Oxford Fine Dining’s fleet is ready to deliver the teas

“I must admit that at first I didn’t realise we needed to deliver each tea individually so I am learning lots of new skills – logistics being one of them!” Sue laughs.

“But we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful partners volunteering their own skills and time so generously. It’s all about helping each other out in these uncertain times and they have certainly done that.”

As for the volunteers who will be receiving the hand delivered tea, they work at four Oxfordshire hospital sites – the JR, Nuffield Orthopedic Centre, Churchill and the Horton Hospital.

The volunteers help/support in various departments and this can be from a hospital guide, helpdesk, wards and admin to clerical and manning the bookstall.

For example, the fantastic sum of £21,058.70 was raised in 2019 by the Volunteer Book Stall and all the money raised goes towards equipment for the hospital.

“Volunteers are a very big part of the hospitals for staff and also for patients and visitors and most volunteers come in on a weekly basis and give their time freely to helping others and we are so lucky to have such dedicated people,” Bridget Daly the Voluntary Services Coordinator explains.

“So once a year we like to organise a Strawberry Cream Team as a way to say thank you, to spread a little bit of kindness to the volunteers who do so much to help others all year round.”

For more information go to https://volunteersweek.org Volunteer’s Week runs from June 1-7.

For info on Oxford Fine Dining go to https://www.oxfordfinedining.co.uk

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