Christmas dinner? It’s in the bag!

The feast of Christmas: Boxing Day lunch at Signposts drop-in centre
The feast of Christmas: Boxing Day lunch at Signposts drop-in centre

When word got around that Signposts, Stone’s drop in advice centre, were to hold a Boxing day lunch for those alone this Christmas, carefully drawn up lists of what was required had to be thrown away, writes Karen Wardell, Manager for Signposts (Stone and surrounds).

Why? Because within days, the generous people of Stone had provided all the things that were needed.  Yes, people came in with:
–          Offers of turkey and pork
–          Offers to cook the meat
–          Tins of sweets and biscuits
–          Trays of mince pies
–          Christmas puddings
–          Vegetables
–          Money for the items not covered (crackers, refreshments etc.)
–          Offers to help on the day (so much so that we had to regretfully turn some away)

So what happened?  On arrival, guests were offered soft drinks and played the first of many games as the starter (fruit cocktail or paté) was prepared.  Meanwhile in the kitchen half the volunteers were tackling the turkey and pork and peeling copious amounts of vegetables.  Other volunteers joined in the games with the guests and then the food was served.  More games followed between courses and by the end everyone declared what a good time they had had.  A final surprise for the 10 guests was a raffle where everyone won a donated prize.

Proof of the pudding: local businessman Grahame Neagus supplied Christmas fare in a seasonally-shaped container
Proof of the pudding: local businessman Grahame Neagus supplied Christmas fare in a seasonally-shaped container

Will there be a next year? We certainly hope so.  Have we learnt anything? Yes. Send the invitations out sooner as we hope to at least double the numbers!

Oh and a big thank you to all those who donated to Signpost’s food bank in December.  Following the Gazette article last month donations were up and on the Monday afternoon before Christmas local business man Grahame Neagus brought his Christmas pudding shaped van full of food and distributed it to those needing a bit extra over Christmas.