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Indie Christmas Dinner Appeal in aid of Welbeloved Club: Help us give 100 socially isolated senior citizens in Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth a festive meal to savour



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For the third time in four years, we're running the Indie's Christmas Dinner Appeal in aid of the Welbeloved Club – and we need YOU to help us give 100 socially isolated senior citizens from Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth an unforgettable festive feast.

Last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the club could not hold its Christmas dinner so we launched the hugely successful Operation Christmas Cheer instead. This saw you donate a staggering 494 shoebox donations to local lonely elderly people, who had been unable to attend the monthly Welbeloved Club meal since March.

In the end, 135 gifts were delivered to Welbeloved Club members in Stortford, Sawbridgeworth, Hatfield Heath, Dunmow, Gilston and Harlow.

Indie Office, North Street, Bishop's Stortford. Jo Gill with some of the gifts donated for Operation Christmas Cheer. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (53224242)
Indie Office, North Street, Bishop's Stortford. Jo Gill with some of the gifts donated for Operation Christmas Cheer. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (53224242)

Another 130 were delivered to the long-established Stortford-based Company at Christmas. Usually dozens of lonely, mostly elderly people are treated to a festive feast and entertainment on Christmas Day at the Methodist Church, but last Christmas saw the operation altered to a meals-on-wheels operation.

The remaining 183 packages were distributed to Stortford care homes Conewood Manor, Elmhurst, Hazel End and Premier Court, and to 25 older villagers in Braughing.

For the two Christmases before that, Indie readers have come up with the goods – literally – to provided almost 200 local old folk with an unforgettable festive feast.

Guests enjoying the Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall in 2018
Guests enjoying the Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall in 2018
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The Welbeloved Club was launched by 29-year-old Thorley Park woman Jo Gill in February 2018 to combat social isolation among the elderly. It is named in memory of her great-grandmother, Doris Welbeloved.

On the first Sunday of each month, scores of elderly people gather at the Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall for a £5 two-course lunch and, more importantly, company. Jo's mum Gill is chief cook and they are supported by a regular band of volunteers.

For the club’s lunch on Sunday December 5, which doubles as its Christmas dinner, we're looking to our readers and followers once again to donate ALL the food, drink and crackers required to give the event the full festive flavour.

The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. Gill Gill in the kitchen.. (22139448)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. Gill Gill in the kitchen.. (22139448)

Plus we're looking for someone to 'sponsor' the meat: £100 for an 8kg turkey crown, £50 for a 5kg unsmoked gammon and £25 for 100 pigs in blanket.

The elderly diners will enjoy a meal of turkey and all the trimmings, Christmas pudding with mince pie and brandy sauce or cream, followed by tea or coffee. There will also be Prosecco, wine, sherry and soft drinks.

All the details are included in the form embedded in this article. If you have any problems, please call the Indie on 01279 216515 or email paul.winspear@stortfordindie.co.uk.

The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139445)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139445)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. Left to right: Diane Potter, Hannah Palfreman and Fay Dalby organising the Christmas presents that Father Christmas will be giving out.. (22139400)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. Left to right: Diane Potter, Hannah Palfreman and Fay Dalby organising the Christmas presents that Father Christmas will be giving out.. (22139400)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139411)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139411)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139342)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139342)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139339)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139339)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. A big thank you to Jo Gill, Gill Gill and all who made today possible.. (22139336)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. A big thank you to Jo Gill, Gill Gill and all who made today possible.. (22139336)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. Father Christmas handing out gifts. (22139314)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD. Father Christmas handing out gifts. (22139314)


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