Everything you need to know about Norwich Open Christmas
What is norwich open christmas?
Norwich Open Christmas is a yearly event which takes place on 25 December to give people who are alone, homeless, or in need a Christmas celebration.
What time is norwich open christmas?
Our guests can come and go as they please from 11:00 to 17:00 on Christmas Day. Volunteers have shifts in three teams.
Team A: 10:00 to 14:00
Team B: 12:00 to 16:00
Team C: 14:00 to 18:00
How can i help?
Food preparation All the meals for our 500+ guests are prepared before Christmas Day at City College, Norwich.
Hall preparation On Christmas Eve, a team of Norwich Open Christmas volunteers work hard to get St Andrews Hall ready for Christmas Day.
Christmas Day There are lots of tasks that need to be carried out on the big day itself. For a full list of tasks you can carry out on Christmas Day, click here.
Drivers and escorts Every year approximately 500 people who are alone, homeless, or in need on Christmas Day rely on Norwich Open Christmas to provide them with entertainment and Christmas dinner. Of these people, between 100 - 200 of them would be unable to attend if it were not for the generosity of volunteers who give up their time to transport guests to and from St Andrews Hall.
Clearing day It does exactly what it says on the tin; everything which was laid out, put up or brought to St Andrews Hall for Norwich Open Christmas needs to be put back to its original state.
How do i sign up?
Applications to become a Norwich Open Christmas volunteer have now closed.
Where can i park on Christmas Day?
The nearest car park to St Andrews Hall is St Andrews multi-story, Duke Street, NR3 3AT. St Andrews car park usually offers free parking on Christmas Day. The forecourt of St. Andrew's Hall will not be available for volunteer parking.
What should i wear?
When signing in on Christmas Day, you will receive a named volunteer badge which you should wear throughout the day. Feel free to dress casually; we do recommend comfy footwear and to bring layers so that you can wrap up warm in case you are assigned a task outside.
Should I bring food with me?
To ensure you have something to eat on Christmas Day, please remember to bring a packed lunch with you. Tea, coffee, biscuits, and hopefully some mince pies, will be provided.
Can i bring friends and family along to volunteer activities?
Only volunteers who have registered to assist with Norwich Open Christmas can attend on the days they have been assigned. We are not able to register volunteers on activity days, nor can we allow registered volunteers to bring non-registered family or friends to assist. Remember to bring your confirmation of registration with you - this will be sent to you in the post or via email in December.
Volunteers must be 16 years or over on Christmas Day.
Norwich Open Christmas can be both physically and emotionally demanding for a number of reasons. Please think carefully before applying to be a volunteer.
Volunteers who work on Christmas Day are encouraged to take a 'time-out' as and when they need one. The Crypt is a great place to take a 'time-out' during the day; the Crypt is used as the volunteers' cloakroom and refreshment area, and it is always a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of St Andrews Hall.
What do i do when i Arrive at st andrews hall on Christmas Day?
Please arrive at St Andrews Hall at least 30 minutes before your shift begins so that you can attend a full briefing for the event. Always use the volunteer entrance when arriving and leaving St Andrews Hall. The volunteer entrance can be found in the far right-hand corner as you face St Andrews Hall.
Remember to bring your volunteer registration confirmation with you. These will be sent to you in the post or via email in December.
I'm a driver, how does it work?
In the morning, drivers will be asked to collect guests from their homes and bring them to St Andrews Hall. We aim for guests to arrive from 11:00 to 11:30. After a volunteer has driven guests to St Andrews Hall, they may return home, or if preferred, they can be allocated further duties. In the afternoon, drivers will be asked to attend St Andrews Hall from 16:00 and stand by until guests requiring transport are ready to go home. Entertainment finishes about 17:00, at which time the final guests will be ready to leave for home.
Drivers will be accompanied by an escort.
I'm a Driver's escort, how does it work?
In the morning, escorts will be asked to go with drivers to collect guests from their homes and bring them to St Andrews Hall. We aim for guests to arrive from 11:00 to 11:30. In the afternoon, escorts will be asked to attend St Andrews Hall from 16:00 and stand by until guests requiring transport are ready to go home. Entertainment finishes about 17:00, at which time the final guests will be ready to leave for home.
Escorts will be asked to accompany their driver, help with finding the guest's homes, and making and answering any necessary phone calls. Escorts, together with the driver, will assist guests where necessary and help load guests’ luggage into the car.
what is norwich open christmas?
We hope to provide, for any guest who is able to get to St Andrews Hall, a Christmas lunch, clothing distribution, entertainment, a take home food bag of non-perishable food and a festive bag containing Christmas Cake, mince pies etc.
For those guests who are unable to get to St Andrews Hall, we will be providing a delivery service to your home if you have contacted us to request a home delivery.
Guests can come and go as they please from 11:00 to 17:00.
Is norwich open christmas free?
YES! Norwich Open Christmas is a completely free event and you don't need to book to come.
How do i get to norwich open christmas?
Many of our guests will arrive at Norwich Open Christmas by their own means. However, we are very pleased to provide free transport to and from Norwich Open Christmas for those guests living in the Norwich area who would otherwise not be able to attend.
There are a few rules that we ask guests to follow whilst attending Norwich Open Christmas.
While guests are inside St Andrew’s Hall, we ask that you not smoke, vape, drink alcohol, or carry offensive weapons.
Guests are also not allowed inside the kitchen or Blackfriar's Hall during Norwich Open Christmas. Please ask a volunteer if you're unsure on the day.
Well behaved animals are allowed to accompany guests to Norwich Open Christmas.
What sort of donations can i make?
We will gladly accept financial donations, as well as physical items such as food and clothing. Any items we do not distribute on Christmas Day will be donated to local charities that help support our guests throughout the year.
How can i dontae financially?
Online Donations (direct transfer) Account Name: Norwich Open Christmas Limited Bank sort code: 08-92-99 Account number: 65616390
If you make a direct transfer, please inform us of the amount using our donation form.
Cheque Donations Cheque payable to: Norwich Open Christmas Send to: Norwich Open Christmas 27A The Street Brundall Norwich NR13 5AA (Please note this address cannot accept food or clothing donations)
How can i donate other items?
Other donations we require are non-perishable foods, and adults/children’s winter weight clothing. If you can help us with some of the items we need this Christmas, then please submit a donation form as this helps us estimate the volume and type of items we will receive to avoid unnecessary purchases.