Hundreds of elderly treated to slap up Christmas lunch in Battersea Park

Wandsworth Guardian: Hundreds of elderly treated to slap up Christmas lunch in Battersea Park Hundreds of elderly treated to slap up Christmas lunch in Battersea Park

Hundreds of elderly who faced spending December 25 alone were treated to a slap-up meal after 200 volunteers pitched in to show the true meaning of Christmas.

The annual event, organised by the Rotary Club of Battersea Park, saw 400 pensioners enjoy a traditional turkey dinner inside a marquee set up at Battersea Park.

Fifty-five mini bus drivers picked up those attending in the morning, with volunteer escorts helping transport party-goers.

A traditional turkey dinner was served to guests, including the mayor of Wandsworth, Councillor Angela Graham, who joined in with the celebrations.

After the meal diners sang Christmas carols, enjoyed a tea dance and a game of bingo, while each guest was treated to a goodie bag before leaving.

The Christmas Day lunch takes months to plan, headed up by Rotary Club members David Johnson and Ré Johnson.

MP Jane Ellison also helped out with setting up the huge venue on Christmas Eve.

The event it free but costs £15,000 to put on through donations, while Greg Lawson of Smart Catering donated the marquee and food.

Liz Shaw, a rotary club member, of Balham, said: "All of the volunteers just lift it. They just welcome everyone.

"They come from all walks of life, a lot of them are young. It was really good, the mixture of old and young.

"The atmosphere was super. There were people phoning us that evening saying what a lovely day they have had, it was very nice because so much planning goes into it."

The Rotary Club has organised the Christmas Lunch every year for the past 50 years.

Miss Shaw said: "It started because people were alone at Christmas, no-one should be alone at Christmas unless they want to be.

"It is for elderly people who are stuck at home. Some people literally just don't get out."

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