Moray Community Christmas looking for nominations for free Christmas dinner delivered
Get the Forres Gazette sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
WHO do you know that deserves a free dinner, gift and treats this Christmas?
For the last four years, Moray Community Christmas (MCC) has been running a Christmas Day lunch at halls in the area for nominated guests, as well as folk who just want to be a part of the event but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, is delivering some cheer this year by car instead.
MCC co-founder, Linda Allman, confirmed MCC has teamed up with The Aberlour Hotel to provide nominees with three-course Christmas meals, delivered all over Moray with gifts and small treats.
She said: “Christmas is difficult for those who are alone so our volunteers will spread a little joy on the day.
“All deliveries will be made by drivers wearing PPE and social distancing will be observed, however, we are hoping that our junior volunteers will share some Christmas spirit through a chat or song too. The meals are available to anyone, including families as well as single folk and couples.”
In 2016, Rothes residents Linda and her friend Stephanie Walby discussed how much more family, friends and neighbours celebrated Christmas together when they were young.
They suggested that more people spend the festivities alone these days, including singletons, couples whose children have moved or work away, and families who live away from the rest of their relatives.
Linda jokingly suggested inviting everyone to a huge Christmas dinner and the idea was born. Around 60 people attended the first meal at Grant Hall, Rothes, funded by donations from charity groups and fundraising events. Last year, nearly people 100 attended.
“We’ve had quite a few guests from Forres over the years who have enjoyed themselves and come back a second time,” said Linda.
“The first year we had a group of co-workers who were all going to be alone at Christmas and asked if they could join us. They had a great time, as did we all. Then we had several new people the following year, including a family with little girl who had a disability.
“She was made a huge fuss of by all and got a giant unicorn from Santa!”
MCC has grown year-on-year and Linda now has a team of volunteers spread all over the region.
She said: “Usually the drivers who collect our guests offer their services. We are hoping to get a volunteer driver for the Forres area this year.
“We have several members who work in care and social services and they help with guests who have disabilities.
“We also have an amazing junior members group, led by my youngest daughter and Stephanie’s son.
“The guests love having the kids around on the day as they help to serve the food, deliver Santa’s gifts and get on stage to sing the songs requested by the guests.”
MCC hope to hold their traditional community dinner again next year but will also incorporate delivery for those who cannot make it.
Linda added: “We love making a difference to people who would otherwise spend a very special day alone. Hopefully we are helping to revive the real meaning of Christmas!”
This year, the delivery of Christmas meals is being funded by the Church of Scotland, Asda, Rothes Co-op and Aberlour Fire Station. ScotMid are another benefactor, providing vouchers towards gifts for all of the guests.
All nominations to Linda on 07742810852, or email email@example.com will be considered.
Meals will be limited in number, so people are urged to get their nominations in as soon as possible.