Shropshire Star

Friends group seeks volunteers as Christmas Day event returns

Volunteers are needed to help out at a Christmas Day event for people who might otherwise be alone over the festive season.

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Bishop's Castle Community College. Photo: Google

The Festive Friends group was set up 12 years ago in Bishop's Castle and was holding events every year until Covid-19 interrupted such gatherings in 2020.

But the friends are back for this year and wanting volunteers.

A spokesman for the Festive Friends said: "The committee is now seeking volunteers, without whom it would not be possible to produce an event which brings so much joy and fun to them and the guests.

"Anyone able to volunteer this year will be made most welcome – whether they have participated before or if this will be their first time."

With the support of a group of volunteers, the annual event provided company, entertainment and a delicious traditional lunch and beverages.

The spokesman added: "This year, the Festive Friends event will be back in style, at a new venue and with a new group of people taking over its co-ordination from the original, dedicated committee.

"Notable newcomers include ‘Whitty’ Whittingham and Abby Matthews, owner/operators of Bishop’s Castle's café The Happy Bap, who have volunteered their professional expertise and will be running the kitchen.

"The group aims to help make Christmas Day a joyful and companionable time for those who might be alone, or might find the festive period a difficult time, or just cannot manage undertaking the preparation of a festive meal."

This year, the venue is being changed from the Church Barn to Bishop’s Castle Community College with its enormous, well-equipped kitchen facilities and a larger dining area.

There are many opportunities to help out on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or both – from an hour or two to several; anyone who would like to volunteer should contact John Burt (e-mail or phone 07917 807808).

Anyone wishing to be a guest at the event should contact Jim (01588 630719) or Linda (01588 630409).

If guests are able to make a suggested contribution of £7 per person towards the cost of the meal, it will be gratefully received, but this is not obligatory. If needed, transport can be arranged to take guests from their homes in the area to the event and back.