Shipston Community Christmas

The Shipston Community Christmas was back again this year having had to cancel last year's event due to the pandemic.  Found and organiser, Tessa Hince, provided the following report.

This year saw us take one small step back to normality and it was lovely to (legally) gather back at the hall on Christmas Day. We decided we would give people options and let them decide if they felt comfortable coming to the hall or if they would prefer a home visit. This seemed to work well with a fairly even balance between those that joined us for tea, coffees or a glass of something at the hall, and those that enjoyed a visit from one of our volunteers at home.

We supported around 70 people which included people from Brailes, Tredington, Illmington, Stourton and Great Wolford, and we also delivered around 10 food hampers to families in Shipston struggling at Christmas.

This year our food parcels had a starter and main course from The Castle at Edgehill, delicious desserts from Bex Scott, handmade Christmas cards from Shipston Primary school and gifts donated by the community. Each of our guests also received a bag of Christmas gifts ensuring that everyone that joined us had something to unwrap on Christmas Day. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that made these possible. We’re always overwhelmed by the generosity displayed by Shipston people.

Lots of the volunteers also come down to join in the fun, sometimes because they find Christmas a bit hard otherwise, so it’s a warm, welcoming place for everyone to come for any reason.

This year we also received financial support from the Stour Valley Lions which means we could cover the costs for the meals and Townsend Hall hire so we didn’t need to fundraise for cash donations. We really appreciate these though as it does mean we can continue to run the event year on year so a huge thank you to those that contributed. It is quite expensive to run even with the many donations we receive from you. The Castle at Edgehill gave us a 50% discount on their takeaway meals which was such an amazing and kind thing to do.

The Townsend Hall have had to apply a charge to us for use of the hall of £400 this year, so we will have to raise the necessary funding. The event costs us around £1500 each year. If you feel you would like to make a financial contribution to our cause, then you can contact us on 07498 558149.

We also want to say a huge thank you also to our volunteers and drivers, North Cotswold Brewery, Richard & Lou at The Richard Harvey Collection and the Cotswold Distillery.

Shipston Community Christmas has grown considerably over the last five years and therefore we have been able to expand our support further. Previously we have advertised ourselves as a charity to support people who find Christmas a lonely time. What we really aim to do is help anyone that finds Christmas a struggle and are looking for some help to ease the pain that this time of year can bring. We’ve got plans for a toy collection to help struggling families, to provide more food hampers, and to help with lunch for anyone that needs it.

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