Sidmouth couple plan Christmas lunch for lonely

No lonely Christmas for Sidmouth folk after couple plan ‘family’ lunch

THANKS to a Sidmouth couple, it won’t be a lonely Christmas for some living in Sidmouth this year.

Mick and Angie Carney of Winslade Road, were inspired by a conversation with an ambulance driver three years ago, to organise a Christmas Day community lunch for people who would otherwise be alone for Christmas.

After sharing their idea with church youth worker Kate Hamilton and her husband Chris, an appeal went out and there has been an encouraging response from people wishing to share in the festivities as guests and helpers.

“This is an event that everyone can take part in,” says Angie. “We want people to share in a really special Christmas together with no corners cut.

“We would love offers of home-made mince pies, flowers for the tables and gifts for our guests. Perhaps Father Christmas might even pay us a visit?”

“The idea is for the celebrations to be absolutely free, so we are hoping that individuals and local businesses will want to get behind this great opportunity to spread the love around in our community this Christmas.

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“It is a lovely opportunity for people to give to the community.”

The lunch will be at St Teresa’s hall, which has been freely loaned by Sidmouth’s Catholic church, and Angie expects 25 guests and about 15 helpers, who will serve a traditional lunch, then join guests to eat with them, so they feel part of a family group.

Sidmouth’s popular Big Issue seller Anthony will be one of those to join in the festivities.

“The criteria for coming is to be on your own and we have room for another eight,” said Angie, whose daughter Vikki, 21, will help with cooking and serving.

Hayman’s Butchers is supporting the venture.

Guitar teachers, Steve and Brigid McEleny-Smith, will entertain and the Queen’s speech will be televised.

“If anybody wants to bring something to it, or dress children as angels and shepherds and come and visit, that would be lovely,” said Angie, who would appreciate offers of small gifts for goody bags for guests.

If you know anyone who might like to attend, or can help sponsor the event, help with preparations on Christmas Eve, wrap presents, help with driving, cooking or in any other way, call Kate on 07588 817590 or Angie and Mick on (01395) 514350 or email