Appeal for help at Christmas Day lunch for vulnerable and isolated in Stowmarket

Jill Roberts and Michelle Frost ANL-140218-105005001
Jill Roberts and Michelle Frost ANL-140218-105005001

Organisers of an award-winning Christmas Day lunch for the vulnerable and isolated in Stowmarket are appealing for donations and volunteers.

The event at the United Reformed Church from noon to 4pm returns for its third year and promises a full three course lunch with entertainment including bingo, raffle and board games.

Michelle Frost, who organises the event with Jill Roberts, said: “We are looking for a couple more volunteers and donations that are suitable as prizes for bingo or the raffle.

“We would like to spread the word so that anyone young or old knows that there is somewhere to go on Christmas Day.”

They are also looking for donations of decorations from shops for the hall.

The pair recently scooped the ‘community heroes’ accolade at the Stowmarket Town Awards, which are run by Stowmarket Town Council.

Michelle, of Bury St Edmunds, used to volunteer at the Gatehouse Christmas Day lunch in Bury. She and Jill wanted to host one in Stowmarket where they felt there was a need.

Michelle said: “We usually get 100 people including volunteers - it’s a fantastic response. We’ve had older couples who don’t have their family around them, younger people who are by themselves and single parent families.

“There’s a lovely group of ladies who live in the same road who are all by themselves and come to us.

Three of Michelle’s children also help out on the day.

She said: “It’s a real family atmosphere and there’s such a warm feeling when you walk in.”

There is also a choir at the event and e veryone who attends goes home with a card and a gift. Transport can be provided.

Residents interested in attending the event need to register beforehand. To register or those who wish to offer support, contact Michelle on 07824637635 or Jill on 07712152441.