Selfless volunteers giving up their time to help feed those struggling in Buxton this Christmas

This Christmas hundreds of struggling families in Buxton will benefit from the help and generosity of strangers who are providing people with food and presents.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 11:30 am
Updated Monday, 6th December 2021, 12:54 pm

Christmas in the Community was set up by Ruth Eyre and Caz Kidd from The Trademan’s Entrance Cafe in Buxton in 2015.

Now in its sixth year, the volunteers say they are once again seeing more people contacting them who need a little help this festive season.

Ruth, 35, said: “I’m sad there are so many people out there who are struggling financially but I’m proud Christmas in the Community is there to help them and that it has grown over the years to help people in different ways.”

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Martin Hoban and Henry Kukiewicz, Master and Secretary of the Phoenix Lodge of St Ann make a donation to kickstart this year's Christmas appeal at the Tradesman's Entrance. With Jojo Smith, Ruth Eyre and Caz Kidd

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When the programme started people were given a free meal on Christmas Day and a small present.

Now not only is a free meal available at the cafe for those who may be alone on Christmas Day, but food will also be delivered to those who cannot get in to town.

And this year the group, with support from The Breadline charity, are making up food hampers which will contain a turkey, pigs in blankets, crackers, Christmas pudding and all the trimmings.

Since the scheme was launched, more than 1,500 people have been supported with food and gifts.

Ruth said: “The numbers of people we help every year are going up but these past two years have seen people lose their jobs or be on restricted hours and now it’s winter people are making choices between eating or heating which is wrong.

"We are here to make it easier for people so they have one less thing to worry about.

"This isn’t charity - this is community.

"Since we started doing this I’ve learnt the Buxton community has the biggest heart. Everyone offers out that hand to people who are struggling and to let them know they are not alone.”

An online donation page has been set up to raise funds for food and presents at https://www.gofundme.com/f/48f5j-christmas-hampers-for-families.

Those wanting to donate a present – chocolates, toys, adult colouring books, male and female toiletries and hats, gloves, scarves and socks – can do so at the Tradesman’s Entrance or Buxton Swimming and Fitness Centre.

Anyone who would like a meal or hamper needs to book in at the cafe.

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