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Serving up dinners for Christmas in Shipston

A COMMUNITY charity set up in Shipston to provide Christmas lunch to those spending the day alone is extending its support this year to help families.

The initiative was started six years ago to hold a Christmas gathering for people from Shipston and surrounding villages who may be experiencing loneliness at Christmas.

Following Covid, the charity started offering ‘the best of both worlds’ last year delivering Christmas Dinners and a chat to people who would feel more comfortable staying at home, plus a Christmas morning drinks and mince pie reception for those who would like to celebrate with others in person before collecting their lunch.

Roast turkey for Christmas dinner. (61434388)
Roast turkey for Christmas dinner. (61434388)

This year, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, they have teamed up with a local charity to provide support to make things easier for families.

Tessa Hince, who organises the event every year with Dan Scobie and a team of volunteers, said: “Our aim is to support people who might find Christmas difficult for whatever reason and do whatever we can to help. We originally started the charity to ensure no-one had to spend the day alone at Christmas.”

The Christmas Day event is moving to the Shipston Scout Hut this year and will take place from 10am to 2pm with drinks, mince pies, Christmas music and the opportunity to collect a Christmas Dinner to take away. Volunteers will also be assisting with transport to the Scout Hut and Christmas Dinner deliveries.

Tessa added that with the additional pressures people are facing and rising food costs they need more support than ever.

She said: “We’re always enormously grateful to all the wonderful people who give their support to the lonely and vulnerable in our community each Christmas, so we can raise the funds to help even more people.

“If anyone is able to give their time or make a donation, however small, every penny we receive goes directly to helping people. Shipston Community Christmas is run by volunteers and nobody gets paid.”

So far the charity is helping over a hundred people of all ages, either at the Christmas event or through deliveries to their home. Organisers are encouraging people to get in touch if they would like to be included as a guest, to receive a dinner at home or are a family needing support, by emailing shipstoncommunitychristmas@hotmail.com, telephone/text 07498 558149, or facebook: shipstoncommunitychristmas.

Donations to Shipston Community Christmas can be made via the charity’s just giving page https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/shipstonxmas. The charity is also collecting prizes for a raffle as well as gifts for both men and women, such as toiletries or treats, which can be left at the Richard Harvey shop on Church Street in Shipston.

For further information please contact Tessa Hince on 07498 558149 or email shipstoncommunitychristmas@hotmail.com

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