Buxton’s free Christmas meal get-together scaled back to home delivery

A cafe which has served free Christmas meals to isolated and hard-up High Peak people for the last five years will be delivering the much-needed festive offerings this December.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 7:00 am

Since 2015 hundreds of lonely people have spent Christmas Day together eating a roast at Buxton’s Tradesman’s Entrance and Source cafes – however the vital social event will be delivery or pick-up only this year due to Covid-19.

During the last few years as well as a turkey dinner with all the trimmings those attending have been entertained with a brass band along with the usual Christmas classics on the stereo and staple Yuletide films.

And gift bags have also been handed out containing comforting essentials such as hats, gloves and scarves.

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Vounteer Ruth Eyre says this year will be 'very different'

Ruth Eyre, who has volunteered on the day every year, told one year how a guest admitted the small tokens were ‘the first presents he'd had in five years’.

Though she admitted the missed social contact would be a blow for many she hoped the free food might spread some happiness.

Ruth said: “It will be very different this year but we want to help as many people as possible through this hard time of Covid and bring a bit of happiness and light.

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Christmas for the Community volunteer Ruth Eyre is pictured left, along with Martin Murray, Craig Taylor, Carolyn Berrisford, Deborah Byrne and Clive Gerrard

“We realise that this time will be harder than ever for some families with many having lost their jobs after furlough ended.

“Some families will really be struggling so if we can help them in this way they might still be able to celebrate Christmas together.”

This year meals - along with a little gift bag of presents - will be delivered to people’s homes or can be collected.

Hampers containing a turkey dinner with all the Christmas trimmings along with crackers, pudding and cake are provided for families - with scaled-down versions for single people.

Ruth added: “Even though they won’t be able to eat together at the cafes they will still be able to get a little bit of social contact through the delivery service or while picking the food up.”

To request a meal this Christmas phone Ruth on 07932 220915 or visit the Christmas for the Community Facebook page HERE.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.