Normally at Christmas, in Derby, there would be events in December to bring together the elderly, vulnerable and isolated, so they could share a full Dinner with all the trimmings, Santa, a sing-song and lots of chat and cheer.
A few month’s ago, the Council’s Neighbourhood Team could see that a lot of people would miss out on their special occassion this year – a year when it would be more important than ever…that is, unless they did something about it! Bouncing ideas within the team, and drawing on existing activities, they came up with the concept of the “Christmas Cheer” project.
To feed 850+ people, across 17 wards in the City with… no budget!
More details in a previous article “Council’s Neighbourhood Team plans “Christmas Cheer” for 850+ of Derby’s elderly, lonely and isolated”
Whilst they knew that people in Derby would be generous, with money, donations and, most importantly, time – they didn’t expect such generosity. The germ of an idea , grew, rapidly with so many people wanting to get involved.
From the 14th – 18th December the whole project came together with meals being made at Derby County, Derby College, Oaklands Pub, Steamin’ Billy pub, and an army of volunteers delivering to each of the 850+ residents.
I attended each of the 5 days, and joined a few of the delivery teams, and saw the joy, and appreciation brought to each person who received a meal, hamper, and craft boxes. But it wasn’t just the people who received the food who benefited and were heart-warmed, it was everyone who was connected and who enjoyed being involved…
For those few thousand people who, in some way, touched this project….were “touched” by this project, and had the opportunity to experience the “True Spirit of Christmas”.
Thanks to the Neighbourhood Team who created the “spark”, led jointly by Sharon Sewell and Sarah Dosunmu, – Claire Briggs, Jonathan Till, Jamie Robinson, Steph Holt, Beckie Hudson, and Lorraine Dryden; between them, they cover all Neighbourhood activities across Derby’s 17 wards.
Thanks also to: (if I’ve missed anyone please email me)
Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance – sourced turkeys and Xmas puddings through Business in the Community, and £1000 Co-op vouchers
Derby County Football Club/ Community Trust – up to a 1000 meals – food sourced through corporate clients, donors and sponsors. Players and Rammie to record messages
Derby College – 300 meals + 800 hampers with contents sourced by the Neighbourhood Team + on-line performances + handmade Xmas cards + floral displays
Artcore – will provide craft packs for people to make Christmas themed items/gifts in their homes to aid mental health
Steaming Billy (Alvaston) – 100 meals
Oaklands Pub (Blagreaves) – 50 meals ( secured by Cllr Naitta)
Derby Muslim Women’s Group – handmade cards
St Andrew’s School – handmade cards
Fire service, Police, and many others will do the deliveries
Disability Direct will supply van as a grotto for deliveries
Sinfin Cllrs – £200 vouchers, Choral entertainment ( inc choir), and flowers from Flowerworld
Cllr Atwal – food donations for meals
Derbyshire Cricket Foundation
Sky Recruitment Solutions
and Sales Linden Signs
Ark Mechanical and Engineering
plus, financial contributions from
2 Registered Social Landlords; Clarion Futures Housing Association,Longhurst Housing Association -£1000 each
Businessman – £1000
Co-op – £1200 vouchers
The team also worked with a number of contributors to create a Playlist of music, spoken word and the 12 Days of Panto. Full Playlist CLICK HERE
Photos from other contributors ( please send in if you want your photos adding on)
Categories: Derby City Council