East Belfast is traditionally a working class area and the East Belfast Mission aims to help the local residents through the “Renewing and transformation of the East Belfast community”. The Belfast Rapid Relief Team had identified and approached the Mission with an offer to help out with any upcoming events and this offer was taken up in August 2016.
East Belfast Mission was holding a week of events at their base in the Skainos Centre which was ending with a funday on the Saturday which was open to anyone who wanted to attend. Events during the day included African drumming, face painting, caricature artists, kids’ soft play areas and birds of prey displays. The highlight was going to be a free BBQ lunch for all involved – provided by the RRT!
Belfast RRT started the day at 9:00 by setting up marquees outside, preparing drinks and snacks and getting the brand new BBQ trailer up and running, ready to start serving out food at midday.
Throughout the day Rapid Relief Team members welcomed many people from widely different backgrounds; some firefighters showing a demonstration engine; and even including feeding a charitable group from USA who had been working in support of East Belfast Mission during the preceding week.
At the end of the day, RRT members produced some ‘take home’ trays of food for some of the families who had attended the day, with other food being cooked and given to the local hostel which is attached to the East Belfast Mission.
RRT’s final tally was 500 burgers cooked, 200 scones & 400 drinks served and over 300 cups of tea and coffee provided. In addition complementary hygiene items were made available for the public to take home. All the food and provisions were provided FOC by the RRT – only possible because of the generosity of our loyal donors.
All the RRT members thoroughly enjoyed the day and the events team at East Belfast Mission were fantastic to work with! Their appreciation for the help of the RRT sent in by Sandie, one of the leaders on the day was truly humbling;
“Can I start by saying a huge big THANK YOU TO YOU AND YOUR TEAM for being part of our family fun day. RRT was so professional from start to finish – I was amazed to see which looked like an army of red and black uniforms when I arrived at 9am. The ladies cleaned the kitchen even before they started preparing any food and the guys were erecting marquee’s and BBQ’s. The food was amazing and such a good variety which was a treat for the local community as years gone by we have only been able to provide a hotdog and juice – so to have the variety you supplied was amazing. Our staff were also relieved to get a break from cooking the BBQ this year – another big THANK YOU from the staff and volunteers at East Belfast Mission. Once again I can only say how professional, polite and friendly and organised the whole of the RRT was and they made a big impression at the fun day and the whole community appreciated and enjoyed the amazing BBQ and snacks. Many thanks again – wouldn’t have been the same day without RRT being with us!”