The generosity and support of a number of local, national and international organisations brought a smile to the faces of Cotswold Friends clients and volunteers over the Christmas period.
A delicious traditional two-course Christmas meal was enjoyed by 76 clients and carers that use our charity’s Support Services, such as Carer Support and Befriending, at The Fire Service College in Moreton, which was an extremely suitable and accommodating venue, particularly for our clients with mobility needs.
This was followed by Christmas afternoon hot drinks and mince pies for 54 of our fantastic volunteers from across all our volunteer-led services, as a thank you for all their hard work and commitment during 2022.
There was a wonderful performance by the U3A ladies choir and woodwind ensemble, including Christmas readings and songs, during the lunch, and a cheery sing-a-long of Christmas carols led by our own Community Activities singing group during the afternoon.
The Fire Service College kindly provided room hire of their Connections 2 suite and Edinburgh Bar for free, and the meal was funded in part by a generous £1,000 donation from the North Cotswolds branch of the St Vincent de Paul charity, part of an international Christian voluntary network who visit vulnerable or isolated people across England and Wales and offer them friendship and practical support.
We were also kindly awarded a generous grant of £500 from the One Stop Community Partnership, which supports community organisations operating near a One Stop store that are supporting the vulnerable and the elderly, to help fund our activities in celebrating Christmas 2022.
Comments from clients and carers who attended the event included, “Thank you for inviting us to the Christmas lunch yesterday, it was a wonderful afternoon, we thoroughly enjoyed it” and “On behalf of everyone who attended the lunch yesterday, may I just say what a lovely meal we enjoyed.”
Around 100 Christmas goody bags, generously sponsored by national independent vehicle management company, Autoserve, were distributed to our Support Service clients who were unable to attend the Christmas lunch.
These included hand-made knitted Christmas decorations from volunteers and members of our Knit and Natter group and a selection of delicious Christmas food items such as mince pies and Christmas puds from Aldi.
Earlier in December, Midcounties Co-operative in Moreton hosted a fantastic Christmas evening event for our local clients and volunteers in their SOHO Coffee shop. The food and hospitality were amazing and everyone had a wonderful time, especially our members of Moreton Men in Sheds group.
Thank you to everyone that helped us to us bring a little Christmas cheer to older and vulnerable people in the North Cotswolds and help them feel less lonely and isolated.
For more information, contact Louise Lapworth, Marketing Manager, email [email protected].