11:10AM, Monday 31 December 2018
A festive lunch was served up for elderly people in Maidenhead who otherwise would have been spending Christmas Day alone.
The event, organised by Churches Together in Maidenhead, saw the SportsAble hall in Braywick Road decked out in Christmas decorations ahead of the arrival of 60 guests.
A team of 50 volunteers helped prepare the food, welcome the residents and tackle the stacks of washing up.
Guests without access to transport were also ferried in with the help of People-to-Places buses.
The guest list included Prime Minister Theresa May, the High Sheriff of Berkshire and Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead Cllr Paul Lion.
Mrs May mingled with diners before giving a speech about the importance of volunteering.
Reverend David Downing, chairman of Churches Together in Maidenhead, then said grace before people tucked into their three-course dinner.
Copas Farms donated turkeys for the event which were roasted by chefs at the Cardinal Clinic.
The meal was also funded by the Advertiser’s Christmas Cracker Appeal which enables charitable groups and organisation to host their own festive parties.
Tony Weeks, event team leader for Churches Together in Maidenhead, said: “It is quite a major undertaking to put on an event like this and thanks must go to all the volunteers in whatever capacity they provided help.
“Judging by the number of volunteers who wanted to help, many of whom we had to turn away, there is no doubting that there is much support for volunteering events like this and a keen interest in doing good for the benefit of the community.”
He also thanked groups including the Kaffirs of Cookham Dean, Waitrose’s Maidenhead branch, the Lions Club of Maidenhead, jazz band the Fabulous Shirtlifters and Rotarians from Maidenhead Thames, Bourne End and Cookham for their support.
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