Older friends meet up for food and fun at festive do
OLDER people who are facing Christmas alone gathered with friends at a festive party in their honour.
Friendship At Home, in Cleethorpes, held its first Christmas party at Cleethorpes Memorial Hall.
More than 150 elderly people joined together for traditional dinner, dancing and entertainment.
For many, it was their chance to celebrate with company as many do not have family around.
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The organisation's manager, Julie Rigby, said: "It has gone so well. Everyone is really enjoying themselves, which is great to see.
"It is really important to these people. A lot of their families live away and they will be on their own on Christmas Day. Here they can sit, chat and socialise.
"We try to do as much as we can in the lead-up to Christmas so if they are spending it on their own, they have had the chance to celebrate like this.
"We hope we have given them something nice to look back on – and hope it will happen again next year."
Sidney Sussex Ward Community First Panel donated £500 towards the party, allowing organisers to pull out all the stops and hire singer Peter Crookes and sequence dancers.
Brenda, 72, and Bill Messingham, 77, have been attending Friendship At Home for seven years.
Brenda, who cannot walk very far, said: "This time of year can be quite difficult for us because we can't get out like we used to. I don't walk very well so if the weather is bad we are housebound.
"The party has been lovely, it has been great to see everyone."
Margaret Clayton, 67, joined the organisation six months ago.
She said: "The club has helped me so much. It provides everything – I have met so many people.
"They have done a great job, the meal was piping hot and have everything you could want. I am feeling very festive now."
Get in touch
Friendship At Home is based in Hart Street, Cleethorpes. Call 01472 602500.