Appeal for Christmas volunteers

PUBLISHED: 09:43 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:18 10 June 2010

ONE of Topsham s most prominent charities is urging people to give up a little bit of time over the festive period to ensure that pensioners have a Christmas Day to remember.

ONE of Topsham's most prominent charities is urging people to give up a little bit of time over the festive period to ensure that pensioners have a Christmas Day to remember.

Estuary League of Friends is appealing for volunteer drivers and organisers to help on Christmas Eve and at its Christmas Day lunch at Topsham Rugby Club.

ELF started in 1987 and provides services including a luncheon club and day a centre, and every year they host a traditional Christmas day meal for older residents.

Many pensioners from Topsham, Countess Wear, Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Ebford and Exton rely on the annual event so they can spend Christmas Day in good company.

Run by a small team of full-time, part time staff and a large team of volunteers, ELF relies on the goodwill of the community and funding from its two charity shops, personal donations and bequests, and social services bodies.

"We need volunteers to drive residents from their homes to the club on Christmas Day morning and then get them back home in the middle of the afternoon," said Rachel Gilpin, chief executive of ELF.

"If people can't volunteer on the big day they could help set the table and the decorations on Christmas Eve. Or in advance they could donate gifts, food, wine and soft drinks to make the Christmas lunch that much more special for those who attend," she added.

Anyone who wants to help in any way should call Rachel or her team on: (01392) 879009 or email rachel.estuary@virgin.net.

Those older residents who want to enjoy the company of others on Christmas Day can attend the lunch - with a close relative if they wish - by contacting Rachel.

The donation is £14 for each person, including transport to and from the lunch.

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