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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > December 2018 > ‘Compelled by the love of Christ’

‘Compelled by the love of Christ’

Christmas Day is a UK public holiday. But for some, it will be a normal working day. Jackie Macadam learns how some people will spend the day supporting and helping others.
Photo: iStock

HOW do you plan to spend Christmas Day?

Long lie? Cup of tea while the children open their pressies? Slap up lunch while watching a movie on the TV?

For most of us, Christmas Day is a welcome holiday where the whole family can get together, but if it were not for a very large group of people, that sort of relaxing day would not be possible.

In this month of celebration of the birth of Christ, we consider just some of the people who will be working on December 25.

The Church’s Social Care arm, CrossReach springs to mind when considering those who work and support others over Christmas.

For people in care homes, that home is their family, and staff who work there are a part of that family.

Gaberston House, Alloa, is one of CrossReach’s residential services for adults with enduring mental health needs.

Sheena MacIntosh, team leader at Gaberston, explains: “The unit off ers 24-hour support to vulnerable individuals, which for staff means we off er care and support 365 days of the year, including Christmas Day.

Working on Christmas Day means time away from our own families and being away from the people we love and who care for us. Gaberston staff have always said the same thing about working Christmas: it is important for everyone to feel cared for at Christmas and often staff say that the Christmas shift, although busy, is rewarding and fun.

“Staff work hard to make the day special for those who live in Gaberston and for those we support in their own homes. For individuals with mental health problems, Christmas can be a difficult time of year because of loneliness and difficult memories. Of course, mental ill-health impacts on daily life no matter what day of the year it is.

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE 'COMPELLED BY THE LOVE OF CHRIST' - Christmas Day workers SHOCKING KNOX - The two women at the helm of New College, Edinburgh 'O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM' - Holy Land Reflections FROM MONTY PYTHON TO MINISTRY - Moderator- Designate appointed