‘Everyone deserves to open a present at Christmas’

Your help is needed to bring Christmas to those in need in and around Horncastle.

Isabel Forrester of Horncastle Community Larder and Bob Wayne, founder of the Larder. EMN-211122-165707001

The town’s Community Larder has launched its annual festive appeal this week, and as well as festive parcels or Christmas goodies and essentials, donations of presents are also being welcomed.

This year, Horncastle Community Larder is aiming to reach not only families that are struggling, but also individuals on their own.

Spokesman Isabel Forrester said: “We want to reach individuals on their own as there’s the quieter ones who don’t want to make a fuss and wouldn’t therefore come forward.”

Isabel said that there has been an increase in referrals for one of their food parcels since the £20 uplift in Universal Credit was scrapped, and that donations have decreased as well.

“That’s to be expected though,” she said, “The reality is that most people are feeling the pinch.”

The festive food parcels will not only have essentials that traditionally make up a food parcel from the community larder - such as cereals, long-life milk, tinned food and so on - but also some festive treats such as Christmas crackers, chocolates, fresh fruit and vegetables provided by Tesco and a small gift.

This is where you can come in, as the Horncastle Community Larder is looking for donations not only of festive treats and essentials, but donations of gifts so that every family or individual they help this Christmas will have a present to open too.

“Everyone deserves to open a present at Christmas,” Isabel explained, “So what we’re looking for are small gifts that people can donate.

“They don’t have to be glamorous or expensive, but as long as it is new or in a very good condition that would be great - something as simple as a pair of fluffy socks will go down well with an elderly resident.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation of a Christmas gift are asked to wrap and label them with the recipient’s gender and age, and drop them off at St Mary’s church in the town centre.

The community larder’s volunteers will be wrapping the gifts along with volunteers from Co-op Travel and assembling the parcels before they are distributed by local charity Children’s Links over December 20-22.

Donations of essential items for the food parcels, in particular tins of meat which are in short supply, can also be made at the community centre.

To find out how you can get involved with Horncastle Community Larder, visit www.horncastlecommunitylarder.co.uk/