H&F Christmas Lunch serves up a shining example of community spirit
Lunch action: From left, Peggy Coles, H&F Dementia Action Alliance; Cllr. Ben Coleman (H&F), Steve Hollingworth AD leisure, sport & culture (H&F); Miss Jo Stokes Clem Atlee Centre co-ordinator; Nikos Souslous, logistics administrator for The Smile Brigade
The Big H&F Christmas Lunch was an enormous success, thanks to an amazing community effort. Around 800 isolated, older people in the borough received a delicious meal and a gift bag for Christmas Day and knew they were not alone.
“You have made my day!” said Betty Richens, who received a lunch package. “I have been spoilt through & through: perfectly cooked meal! Fruit, vegetable, X’mas Pud! 2 books – when you are alone, not only the food but having someone thinking of you is invaluable! Thanks a million! Your heart is certainly in the right place!”
Another recipient emailed later and said: “Thank you sooooooo much for the delicious food, gifts and groceries which are most welcome and make Christmas Day very special.” Another sent their thanks “for the lovely Turkey dinner” and the gifts which accompanied it.
HF Giving worked in partnership with H&F Council to raise funds for the project. The community was very generous, and it was supported by some incredible local organisations such as idverde, top sponsor and the UK & Europe’s leading provider of grounds maintenance services and landscape creation projects.
There was also fantastic support from our own iconic football club QPR and Hammersmith landscaping company Shoots & Leaves. We are also grateful to the McGrath Charitable Trust for their kind contribution.
“We knew Christmas would be challenging for many elderly people who have suffered great losses during the pandemic,” said Savraj Kaur, Executive Director of HF Giving. “We wanted people to know they weren’t alone, and it was incredible to see the community coming together to make December 25 brighter for our isolated residents.”
Local social enterprise The Smile Brigade also played a vital role in preparing the meals and organising a group of wonderful volunteers who worked extremely hard to assemble the lunch packages and then deliver them to hundreds of addresses throughout Hammersmith and Fulham.
Nikos Soulous, Logistics Administrator for The Smile Brigade, said: ‘It was such a joy being part of the community Christmas meals project and to help get free meals and gifts to 800 isolated and vulnerable local residents. Working with so many wonderful colleagues and volunteers made an otherwise difficult job so much easier and enjoyable!’”
While receiving a package cheered many elderly residents, being part of the project was also uplifting for those who worked on it. “Thank you for letting me participate as a volunteer in this year’s Christmas support campaign,” said volunteer Chrissie Hammond. “It was something I’d been attempting to go for a long time and was a truly profound experience.”
Many people put an enormous amount of effort into making the H&F Christmas Lunch happen. We are truly grateful for everyone’s valuable contribution, which made a big difference to hundreds of lives on Christmas Day. The results show what we can achieve when we work together.
A huge thank you to our 2021 sponsors and grant givers
We are thrilled to have received support from these organisations. Their support played a vital role in funding the H&F Christmas Lunch.
idverde was our top sponsor. The leading provider of grounds maintenance services and landscape creation projects in the UK and Europe has been extremely generous.
Queens Park Rangers FC – We appreciated our iconic local football club contributing to the community.
The McGrath Charitable Trust was set up by the McGrath family in 2000 to help those in need and we are incredibly grateful for their contribution.
We are also grateful to all members of the community whose generous support helped us meet our fundraising target.