New organisers needed to continue Sidmouth Christmas Day lunch for elderly and lonely

PUBLISHED: 09:06 12 January 2017

The Pickering family have been volunteering at the event since 2011, youngsters Freddie and Sean with guest Douglas.

The Pickering family have been volunteering at the event since 2011, youngsters Freddie and Sean with guest Douglas.

Archant

Organisers of Sidmouth’s community Christmas Day lunch - which provides food and companionship for those who would otherwise be alone - are appealing for a new co-ordinator to carry on the tradition.

Queen Liz gives the royal wave while volunteers set up the speakers for the Queens Speech.Queen Liz gives the royal wave while volunteers set up the speakers for the Queens Speech.

Angie and Mick Carney and a team of volunteers catered for 73 people St Teresa’s Hall on Christmas Day.

The couple, who started the event six years ago, say last month’s festivities could be the last unless someone comes forward to take over.

Angie and Mick, jointly named Citizens of the Year in 2015 for their charity exploits, wish to go away for Christmas this year to see their first grandchild.

They have all the information ready to pass on to anyone interested in carrying on the event.

Volunteers stay calm in the kitchen to get the lunch ready.Volunteers stay calm in the kitchen to get the lunch ready.

Angie said: “We are here to help, if there is anybody that wants to take it on, we will support them through it. We have all the administration to hand over. They can come and chat with us - there is no pressure.

“It has been amazingly well supported. There has never been a moment where we have not been glad that we decided to do it.”

She added that the event has enough donations and volunteers to carry on for another year.

Following lunch on Christmas Day, the diners were entertained with music from the Pickering family, who have been volunteering at the event since 2011. Angie said: “It’s a very happy atmosphere, people are very relaxed and happy to be there and there is lots of lovely chatter. People are enjoying the company and having a meal together.”

The couple thanked all the Sid Valley charities, businesses and volunteers for helping to make the lunch possible.

Neil Faulkner, from the Upper Crust bakers, donated mini-Christmas cakes and Sidmouth Stationers provided diaries and playing cards to be added to the guests’ party bags.

If you are interested in taking on the lunch, contact the Herald on 01392 888511.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald