Chelmsford Rivermead Rotary Club members have been busy this Christmastide putting together gift boxes for clients of Sanctus in Chelmsford.
Sanctus offers a safe and warm environment where homeless and vulnerable individuals feel comfortable and open to request help.
Free food, drink and clothing exchange for the homeless, vulnerable and those unable to provide for themselves.
In 2019 they served over 18,300 free meals. Rivermead President, Karen Brimson, helped to load the wrapped boxes which contained thermal items like leggings, tops, socks, hats and scarves etc provided by members.
Members also donated warm clothing sweets and mince pies. The majority of the boxes were not gender specific making it easier for distribution.
All of the boxes were delivered to Sanctus just before Christmas to add to donations from other sources.
In West London, Hounslow Rotary and Inner Wheel were providing meals on Christmas Day. The Open Kitchen in the London Borough of Hounslow provides humanitarian aid for the many who need it.
Mukesh Malhotra from Hounslow Rotary said: “I have been supporting The Open Kitchen since it opened on December 8th, 2018.
“I am so glad that so many of my friends and including the Rotary Club of Hounslow have helped to support in providing over 100,000 meals to those in need, alongside winter support, mental health support & so much more.”
I am so glad that so many of my friends and including the Rotary Club of Hounslow have helped to support in providing over 100,000 meals to those in need, alongside winter support, mental health support & so much more.”
The Open Kitchen believe in humanity and kindness. Their doors are always open, seven days a week for anyone who needs a hot meal, regardless of faith and gender. And it was operating over the Christmas and New Year period.
Santa and social distancing do not really go together at Christmas.
However, in Leicestershire, Lutterworth Rotary arranged Santa sleigh events in Morrison’s car park and at the town square market during December in support of Lutterworth and District Age Concern and Rotary charities.
At the Morrison’s event, 90-year-old Derek Day asked if he could sit next to Santa because he had always wanted to as a child, but never had the opportunity. So Santa obliged as it was outside, only for a moment, as Derek had waited patiently for over eight decades.
The Inspire Santa Sleigh has not been used before in a static role, but due to COVID-19, Lutterworth Rotary’s main fund raising events had all been cancelled.
So the club was grateful to have the safe use of the sleigh to raise funds and bring happiness to the community.
Out of the total of £700 raised, 50 festive parcels will be given to the most vulnerable local pensioners, as nominated by Age Concern, to bring some Christmas cheer.