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Volunteers give up their Christmas to help others
SEASONAL goodwill was in abundance in Evesham on Christmas Day as volunteers gave their time to provide some festive cheer to those having a less jolly holiday.
Lots of residents spent much of Christmas Day cooking and serving a slap-up lunch for the town’s homeless and socially isolated.
Chris and Carol Sheehan were amongst the volunteers who spent Christmas day serving up dinner to others at the annual meal for the homeless served at the Vale of Evesham Christian Centre.
They took over the coordination of the meal for the first time this year from town councillors Reg and Lynne Jakeman who have organised the meal in the past.
Mr Sheehan said: “There were 15 to 20 people there on the day and they had a traditional three-course Christmas lunch. Everything is donated by people so an All Saints parishioner made the soup and another volunteer had the bread rolls made at his bakery in Birmingham.
“I spoke to people and some tell you this is the only meal they have had all week or the most they have eaten in one go all year. Everyone was enjoying the food. Some people like to come along because they would spend the day on their own otherwise.”
Meanwhile, the traditional present giving at Evesham Community Hospital also took place on Christmas Day thanks to volunteer Santa Claus Alex Abbott.
Sue Lahiff, locality manager for Evesham and Pershore, said the town mayor Robert Raphael also turned up to help give out some of the presents.
She added: “Alex has been the porter at the hospital for about 50 years and he is always Father Christmas, despite being in his 80s.
“We had about 65 patients in on Christmas Day and the present giving is a long standing tradition.
Everyone gets about two or three presents.
These are donated by local WIs and the John Martin Charity.
“Quite a lot of people are quite moved and some people were reduced to tears.”