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Christmas Lunch funded for lonely, vulnerable and elderly people

Lonely, vulnerable and elderly people in Dunbar and the surrounding villages will receive some Christmas cheer this year, thanks to funding from Community Windpower and BeGreen.

A donation of £800 has been given to Dunbar social enterprise charity, The Ridge, which is organising a different type of Christmas gathering for residents.

In previous years the charity has used donations from the likes of Community Windpower to put on a Christmas Lunch at a local hall, including the giving of gifts, but this year the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a rethink of the plans.

The Christmas Lunch focuses on giving something memorable at Christmas to people who are socially isolated, lacking in funds, have no family or for various other reasons cannot enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch.

Many people give up their time and come together to deliver the Christmas Lunch, but rely on charitable donations to fulfil the costs of food and presents.

Every person who is part of the Christmas Lunch will receive a present and for many it’s sadly the only gift they receive at Christmas.

One of the impacts of Covid-19 has been the costs of the Christmas Lunch increasing, as previously volunteers would cook and serve the meal, before clearing up afterwards.

This year it’s anticipated more meals will be required, approximately 120 in total, and all will be delivered by volunteer drivers to people’s homes after being cooked by outside caterers.

Many people are really struggling this year, so fuel cards are also being delivered to each home that would benefit from.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, which operates the Aikengall Community Wind Farms in East Lothian, said: “Christmas is a time for giving and looking after your friends, family and neighbours.

“Some people have no-one who can care for them and they would otherwise spend Christmas without seeing anyone, enjoying a traditional Christmas lunch or appreciating the opening of a gift.

“We didn’t hesitate when asked to support the Christmas Lunch as we know how much is means to people and how much effort the volunteers put in to delivering the event.

“Of course, this year it’ll be very different and therefore The Ridge has had to adjust how the meal is delivered, but we think it’s a fantastic gesture by the community, for the community.

“We hope everyone enjoys the Christmas Lunch and wish to extend a big thank you to everyone who will give up their time to ensure it happens.”

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