The canteen at DePuy Synthes’ Beeston factory was filled with over 100 members of the South Leeds Live at Home Scheme (SLLaH) and the choir from Hugh Gaitskell Primary School on Thursday (14 December 2017) for their annual Christmas celebration.
This was the fifth Christmas dinner the company has hosted, but its involvement with SLLaH, which supports older people in Beeston, Cottingley and Hunslet, is not just for Christmas. DePuy’s Build Your Team community activities have helped SLLaH with gardening projects, work at St Andrew’s Church, their allotment and running the Big Tea Party event.
Kerry Seymour from DePuy explained that Corporate Social Responsibility is an important part of the company’s ethos:
“Giving back to the community is really important and we like to get involved with organisations we’re supporting. For example we support Holbeck Food Bank and our volunteers are currently out delivering food parcels for them. The Shine Nail Bar comes here once a week so that staff can buy their services. We’ve also supported Beeston Festival over many years.”
De Puy’s partnership with the neighbouring Hugh Gaitskell Primary School goes back even longer. Kerry is a Governor at the school and the company’s support ranges from staff listening to children read, through to supporting residential trips. And for 15 years the pupils have come into the factory to sing carols and receive a Christmas dinner and a Christmas jumper.
Deputy Headteacher Jacquie Padgett said:
“DePuy’s support has been really fantastic. They support our Families & School Together (FAST) parenting project and they get really involved with Science Week. Our children get to visit the labs and see the engineers at work.
“Today is really important too. The children have been practising for weeks and today they get to perform, not only for the older people, but for the factory staff too. It introduces them to the world of work and shows a practical example of how the whole community takes responsibility each other’s wellbeing.”
As for the older people, these are just a few of their comments:
“It’s been lovely, always is. They’ve surpassed themselves. Been very welcoming.” Barbara and Joyce
“It’s been a proper old fashioned Christmas celebration. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened. I live for these events.” Shiela , Dorren, Kim and Sandra
“It’s been very good. People are so lovely. Really enjoyed it. It’s fantastic DePuy do this for us.” Anne and Barbara
“Very good, the children singing was beautiful.” Pat
“I thought it was good last year, but this year was even better.” Gordon