Big Christmas Lunch ‘a festive treat’

“We knew Christmas would be challenging for many elderly people who have suffered great losses during the pandemic,” said Savraj Kaur, Executive Director of H&F Giving. “We wanted people to know they weren’t alone, and it was incredible to see the community coming together to make 25 December brighter for our isolated residents.”

H&F Giving raised funds for the Big Christmas Lunch project, where local residents living alone received a festive meal and gift bag, ensuring they did not feel neglected during the holidays. The event was a roaring success, thanks to a concerted community effort between H&F Giving, H&F Council and several other local organisations who offered their generosity and support.

Local social enterprise The Smile Brigade helped prepare meals, organised volunteers to assemble the lunch packages, and delivered them to hundreds of addresses in the borough. Other local partners that helped bring success include grounds maintenance services company idverde, QPR football club, Hammersmith landscape design and construction company Shoots & Leaves, and the McGrath Charitable Trust.

“You’ve made my day!” exclaimed Betty Richens, one of 800 isolated senior citizens living in the borough to have received a Christmas meal and gift bag. “I’ve been spoilt through and through with a perfectly cooked meal, fruit, veg, Christmas pud, plus two books. When you’re alone, not only the food but having someone thinking of you is invaluable. Thanks a million! Your heart is certainly in the right place.”

While receiving a package cheered many elderly residents, being part of the project brought just as much joy to all the volunteers and local organisations who worked on it.

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!”