Elderly residents celebrating at Christmas lunch

Hammersmith & Fulham council hosting Christmas Day Lunch for elderly residents

Hammersmith and Fulham Council (H&F) is hosting its annual Christmas Day Lunch for vulnerable and elderly residents who will otherwise be celebrating alone.

It has teamed up with charity H&F Giving to raise £40,000 and have gathered volunteers to make Christmas day special for 500 isolated residents.

For nearly 50 years, the charity has provided three-course meals, goodie bags, dancing, and live music at the Novotel London West Hotel in Hammersmith.

Sophie Bowen, administrator at H&F Giving, said: “Many residents look forward to this lovely day knowing they don’t have to spend Christmas alone.”

Residents who are 60 or older, can sign up or be entered by friends, family, and neighbours with 300 already registered.

Sophie added: “It’s always a good turnout – obviously it’s not a good thing that 500 people would otherwise be lonely but we try to encourage as many to come along.

“It’s a nice, fun day and we get so many people who want to help out each year that volunteer spaces fill up quickly.”

Generous local charities, businesses, and people have united to help raise money to fund the lunch.

H&F council has also partnered up with Hatsgroup to provide the residents with free transport to and from the venue.

Each year, the celebration brings people together to ensure nobody feels neglected during the festive period.

A volunteer from a previous year, PJ, said: “Christmas is about family, and it was great to bring our elderly neighbours together as one big family.

“I couldn’t help but smile as I watched them make friends and felt the energy in the room.”

Last year was the return of Christmas Day Lunch following a three year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

H&F Giving charity explained that Christmas time has been particularly difficult following the pandemic and continuously look to support the lives of their residents.

Some people who don’t need extra support have donated their Winter Fuel Payments towards the festive dinners of others.

New statistics from Age UK show that 2.3m older people wish they had someone to spend time with at Christmas, while 1.6m find Christmas Day to be the hardest day of the year.

Christmas Day Lunch seeks to reduce that number and bring people of the community together during difficult times.

*Images courtesy of H&F Giving*

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