Shropshire Star

'Not quite' Together at Christmas - Group is ready for big day delivering meals

Shropshire community group Together at Christmas is preparing for a busy day on Saturday, delivering Christmas meals, cards and presents to isolated people on Christmas Day.

Members of the team ready for the big day; from left, Rosemary Anderson, Judith Tranter, Derek Bartlett, Tony Roddy, Bonita Kingsmith, Anne Reidy and Veronica Roddy

Together at Christmas is a community outreach group based in Bridgnorth, and on Thursday this week they gathered to bag up no fewer than 200 goody bags containing a Christmas present and hand-drawn, handwritten card.

Derek Bartlett of Together and Christmas said: "We put together over 200 goody bags for our 'not quite' Together at Christmas this year. Pre-pandemic we would have had it in Castle Hall, but this year we are delivering meals directly to people."

The distribution will take place on Saturday around lunch time, and is an epic organisational task in itself.

Derek added: "Around 11.45am on Saturday we have around 30 meals going to a distribution hub in Highley. And from about noon to about 1pm, we have three people every couple of minutes coming to collect a meal to deliver it elsewhere."

Each meal is to be delivered along with a wrapped present, and a handwritten card from one of the local children. All four junior schools in the area, and the beavers, cubs and scouts, have contributed to making this Christmas special for people living alone.

Derek added: "These could be people who are missing a partner, or some people who just feel left out. Anyone who is isolated.

"I personally know there are people we will deliver to who won't receive a card or present from their family this Christmas."

Not only is the distribution of meals and presents a logistical challenge, but the meals themselves are a 'moving target' Derek added.

He said: "It is a bit of a moving target too with the meals. Mike and Sarah have been a brilliant help with organising the cooking. A few days ago I had said there were 150 meals needed, and since then I've had more requests, so we are looking at about 180 or 190 for Saturday."