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The Indie's Christmas Dinner Appeal: Help us give the lonely elderly a festive meal to savour

The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139385)
The Welbeloved Club Christmas Lunch at Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall, The Forebury, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9BD.. (22139385)

For the second year in a row, we're running the Indie's Christmas Dinner Appeal in aid of the Welbeloved Club – and we need YOU to help us give 105 socially isolated senior citizens from Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth an unforgettable festive feast.

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Last December's inaugural appeal was a huge success and resulted in 89 elderly people who would otherwise have been alone coming together for a Christmas dinner sourced entirely by kind-hearted and generous Indie readers.

The Welbeloved Club was launched by 27-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 December 1, which doubles as its Christmas dinner, we're looking to you once again to donate ALL the food, drink, crackers, tablecloths and decorations required to give the event the full festive flavour – and we need 105 gifts, one for each of the attendees.

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.

In October we put a call out via Facebook for supporters of four special sponsorship packages – Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh and Little Donkey – and they were snapped up within hours:

  • GOLD – An anonymous donor gave £175 to cover the cost of the turkeys and pigs in blankets from Stephens Butchers in Snowley Parade on Stortford's Parsonage estate, which supports the Welbeloved Club all year round.
  • FRANKINCENSE – Sawbridgeworth businesses Panache Dry Cleaners and Mint Café donated £100 each for table centrepieces which are being made by Floral Desire Florist, of Newtown Road, Bishop's Stortford, the shop owned and run by Indies awards Young Entrepreneur runner-up Amy Saunders.
  • MYRRHN H Eaton French Polishers has paid £75 to cover the cost of miscellaneous items, including vegetarian options stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and special desserts for diabetics.
  • LITTLE DONKEYR. Purvis Property Services – the business of Indie Bowel Warrior columnist Beth Purvis's husband Richard – donated £60 to buy all the fresh vegetables required.

What's more, Hanbury Wealth, the wealth management business in Hockerill Street, Bishop's Stortford, is buying the ten 900g Christmas puddings required.

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.

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