More than 50 old folk enjoyed our Christmas Day party at Ivo Day Centre

Santa with guests and volunteers at the Spalding Guardian Christmas Day lunch for the elderly. SG251215-105TW
Santa with guests and volunteers at the Spalding Guardian Christmas Day lunch for the elderly. SG251215-105TW
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Every Brussels sprout was eaten and guests couldn’t stop talking about the roast potatoes.

The second Christmas Day lunch for the elderly may have come and gone, but the memories are as golden as the oldies who partied there.

I’ve had a lovely time. I nearly died when I was in hospital but I’m not giving up - life’s too sweet

Guest Jean Sanderson, whose plea last year resulted in the Spalding Guardian holding its first Christmas Day lunch.

This time there were no hitches on the day and the cooker worked like a dream from the minute the turkeys went in at 7.30am.

More than 50 people sat down to eat in the Ivo Day Centre hall in Albion Street, which had been decorated in silver and gold by volunteers a few weeks before.

On the day the tables glistened with silver tablecloths and crackers donated by the family of one of the guests and candles glowed next to the centrepieces of orchids provided by Butters.

Guests were greeted at the door by Santa and the deputy chairman of South Holland District Council Coun Rodney Grocock, who came along to help with his wife, Chrissie.

Coun Gary Taylor, who once again helped sponsor the event, also joined the voluntary transport team to help make sure guests arrived safely.

After a sherry reception, they tucked into a three-course meal of homemade mushroom soup or melon, turkey with all of the trimmings, Christmas pudding and brandy sauce, or trifle or black forest gateaux, followed by tea or coffee and mince pies.

Santa ran the raffle and the guests were entertained with seasonal songs and music by George Cragg and Phil Whigger.

George took along his organ and provided festive background music and had the room moving after the meal by getting everyone joining in the Hokey Cokey.

Phil presented a mix of easy listening numbers and festive songs and was even spotted having a dance with a volunteer and giving the event a taste of Strictly Come Dancing fever.

The guests had a surprise treat with a poem by 95-year-old Robert Wade, who had everyone laughing with a humorous look at growing old.

Jean Sanderson, whose appeal last year resulted in the Spalding Guardian organising the event, said: “I’ve had a lovely time.

“I nearly died when I was in hospital but I’m not giving up - life’s too sweet.”

After every mince pie was eaten and the last festive song sung, guests left with an armful of donated gifts and an orchid plant each.

Spalding Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and local businesses in helping us hold this second Christmas Day lunch for the elderly.

“Many of the guests have been loyal Spalding Guardian readers for a lifetime and it has been quite moving hearing some of their stories and seeing them have such a good time.

“As well as the businesses and members of the community who helped with donations and on the day donations, I would also like to thank the members of our staff who also gave up their Christmas Day to do this, including Victoria Nixon from Spilsby High School, who comes to us on work experience. Well done everyone.”

* The Spalding Guardian would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who helped make the event happen, including the amazing the volunteers who organised transport, helped on the day and prepared much of the food the day before, members of the community who contributed to the meal and donated raffle prizes, table cloths and serviettes, and the Rotary Club of Spalding and Welland for the beautiful individual Christmas cakes that a member made for guests.

The charitable Ivo Day Centre and all of its facilities were also given free for the day, as well as the services of the entertainers George Cragg and Phil Whigger.

We are also truly grateful once again to Simpson’s Butchers for fresh turkeys and pigs in blanlets, Butters for the beautiful orchids, Sainsbury’s for their donation, Marks and Spencer for bottles of fizz, the Lincolnshire Poacher for the sherry and Springfields for some gifts. Thanks also to Coun Gary Taylor, Coun Rodney Grocock, and Coun Christine Lawton for their help and donations. As a result of the early donation of food from the Buckingham Emergency Food charity, this year we were able to provide Christmas dinners for the needy at both the Spalding and Holbeach Foodbanks.

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