Christmas Day Lunch 2008
The fifteenth annual Christmas Day lunch given for those who would otherwise be on their own proved as popular as ever. Over seventy people sat down for a festive meal at Haslewey Community Centre, cooked and served by volunteers. In addition, two meals were delivered to housebound residents unable to make the journey.
A total of 68 helpers were involved over two days in preparation or serving of the lunch. On Christmas Eve the organisers were delighted to have help from Haslemere & District Round Table who provided much-needed manpower and joined the large team setting out tables and preparing pounds of sprouts and carrots, and fruit for the dessert. These last items were kindly donated free of charge by Michael and Maria Lo Conte from Chiddingfold, owners of Farncombe Fresh Foods Wholesale Ltd.
On Christmas Day, itself the Mayor and Mayoress of Haslemere, Councillors William and Carole King, greeted and took sherry with the guests, and, since the event is under the umbrella of Haslemere Council of Churches, the Revs. Danny Wignall and Phelim McGowan were also present. Danny Wignall led with a prayer, and carols were sung to the piano accompaniment of Eric, 13, and eleven-year-old Verity Foster.
After watching the Queen’s Speech on television, guests were collected by the volunteers who had driven them to the centre in the morning. This year some who attended had come from further afield including Lindford, Grayshott, Headley and Liphook, as well as Hindhead and Haslemere. Groups were taken in the Care and Hoppa minibuses, both donated free of charge for the occasion. Everyone left with a beautifully-decorated present, this year kindly provided by Haslemere Flower Club.
Afterwards the main organisers, Vanessa Kemp and Fay Foster, expressed their gratitude to the generous people who gave donations and gifts of wine and sweets, many of them anonymously. They also thanked the many volunteers who gave up their time to make the event such a success.
Eric and Verity Foster entertain!
Some of the many volunteers who made the day such a success.