Community puts on Christmas Day meal

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The community of Buckingham entered into the Christmas spirit to put on a Christmas Day lunch for people who would otherwise spend Christmas alone.

Organised by Buckingham Churches Together, this year’s event was bigger than ever, with 50 guests enjoying a three-course Christmas dinner, presents and entertainment.

Buckingham Community Centre donated the venue free of charge, and about 35 volunteer helpers, many of whom came forward following an article in the Advertiser, worked from 8am to 5.30pm.

Organiser Erik Undritz, from Well Street United Church, thanked all the volunteers, who pitched in with tasks from decorating the hall to providing transport, serving food and hosting each of the 10 tables.

Project Street Life trustee Mike Lake and his wife spent Christmas Eve peeling 25kg of potatoes and 12.5kg of carrots.

And two teenage girls from Project Street Life acted as volunteer ‘meeters and greeters’.

All the meat and vegetables were donated, and the excellent meal was cooked by a volunteer professional chef.

Although most of the guestswere elderly, two families joined this year’s celebration.

One local family of six, including parents, a baby, two children and a grandfather, had been referrred by the Winslow Children’s Storehouse, which provides second-hand clothing and equipment to families on low incomes.

The other family, from Buckingham, turned up unannounced on the day.

Local musicians Malcolm Ashurst and Dave Crawford sang carols and Santa Claus brought presents for everyone.

Mr Lake told the Advertiser: “It’s lovely doing something like this because you really do see the community come together. For people to give up their time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is heartwarming.”