Christmas meal for elderly residents in Hammersmith & Fulham

 

A local partnership between the council, charities and volunteers will provide residents over 60 years old with a meal delivered to their home by Christmas day.

According to the Hammersmith & Fulham Council, two in five residents over the age of 60 live alone in the borough.

The aim is for isolated older people to feel less alone during the holiday.

In 2019, the elderly residents were able to enjoy this Christmas activity together in the town hall.

They socialised, had entertainment and gift bags and were then dropped back home.

Together in spirit

Cllr Ben Coleman, Hammersmith & Fulham Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “Although sadly we can’t invite residents to join us in person for their Christmas dinner again this year, we want to ensure nobody is left out.

“Last year, residents’ generosity meant we delivered an amazing 500 Christmas lunches to residents spending Christmas alone. This year, our target is 700.

“Any money or time you can give would be hugely appreciated.”

Volunteers preparing Christmas lunches in 2020

Working together

The Council has demographic data, which helps to identify the elderly population.

In parallel, UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham, a local charity connects donors with local people in need.

The charity has a place-based giving scheme, focusing on the area, its needs and where there are gaps to be filled.

Through their fundraising work, the organisation can ensure donations are directed where it is most needed.

UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham has been very active during the pandemic, funding a wide range of organisations.

They financially supported over 140 local groups, from food banks, youth organisations to domestic violence victims.

The team is currently raising funds to finance the festive meals, from both residents and corporate sponsors.

The goal is £28,000, half of which would come from individuals and half from local businesses.

So far, corporate sponsors include local businesses idverde and Shoots & Leaves, as well and local football club Queens Park Rangers.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, meals will be delivered directly to residents’ homes instead.

UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham Executive Director Savraj Kaur said: “The most we can say is they are remembered, the community is thinking of them.

They know that their neighbours are the ones who funded their meal and the drivers who drop the meals are a friendly face.”

Volunteers preparing Christmas lunches in 2020

Team work

The community has stepped up to meet a higher demand of residents this year.

Kaur added: “We are really grateful for everyone who has given, it’s really lovely to see people give to their neighbourhood and it’s important to make it a better place for everyone, not just those who are receiving meals.

We know that a lot of people will feel remembered on Christmas day even if they have to be by themselves.”

The meals will be prepared and delivered by the experienced team at The Smile Brigade and associated volunteers.

The social enterprise offers free and subsidised services and activities for people at risk of loneliness and poverty.

Their community kitchen has supplied thousands of meals to the community, especially for people isolating during the pandemic.

Volunteers will cook the meals for Christmas day and deliver them door to door.

Donations for the Christmas meal can be made here.

Photo credit: UNITED Hammersmith & Fulham

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