The food was excellent, the wine flowed and we all had a lot of fun opening our Secret Santa gifts. There were gifts of wine, bright scarves, home made pickled onions and silly socks and mugs. It’s always fun opening the presents and guessing who bought what for whom.

However, it wasn’t just about eating, drinking and being merry. We wanted to make our night out useful in some way. So we decided to dress up – it is silly season after all! – and donate some money to local charity The Vineyard.

We wore jumpers and woolly cardigans and silly earrings and elf hats. All in the name of charity. When we were all stuffed from our mains and happily examining our presents, the bag went round for our contributions. In total, we raised £130 which will be delivered to the Vineyard very soon.

If you are inspired by the work The Vineyard does with the homeless and isolated in Richmond, please see our posters in the clinic about how you can help them throughout the year. If you are planning any big events this year, please consider raising money for them in the process.