Grantham public help to raise enough funds for 150 Christmas dinners for people in need
The generous Grantham public has helped to raise enough funds to pay for Christmas dinner for 150 people in need this year.
Volunteers at Grantham Area Covid-19 Support group (GRACE) and local fund-raising champion Rob Dixon, of Sunningdale, combined their efforts to raise £1,000 for Grantham Poverty Concern, which provides Christmas dinner for people in need, including the homeless, vulnerable, lonely and elderly.
Rob, 64, donated £500 which he had raised by asking family, friends and the public to pledge £30 or what they could afford, to help the homeless this year.
After meeting with the team behind GRACE, who have helped support hundreds of local families throughout the pandemic, they combined their efforts to try and raise enough money to help Grantham Poverty Concern, also known as Grantham Passage, to provide their annual Christmas dinner to those in need.
GRACE founder Jayne Robb said: “We spoke to the Grantham Passage and discovered that it costs them in the region of £800-£1,000 to provide Christmas dinner each year. This is what we are here for. It has empowered people to take action and help. It took just over a week to raise our £250 donation.”
District councillor Adam Stokes also donated £250 from the council’s Ward Member Scheme to help reach the £1,000 target.
He said: “It is such a fantastic cause and very much needed this year so I am happy to be able to support it. The way that Grantham as a whole has come together to support people in this very difficult time of Covid has been brilliant.”
This year, due to Covid restrictions, The Passage cannot hold the meal at its usual venue but instead will be delivering meals to all the people they are supporting with the help of a team of drivers.
Chris Thomas, leader of the church and project co-ordinator, said he feels “humbled” by the sheer generosity shown during such a difficult time.
He said: “It has really showed a true community spirit here in Grantham at a time of stress and unease for many of us. I have been blown away by those offering financial support to our Christmas meal and our ongoing running costs.
“We will have to do things a bit differently this year but each person that asks for help from us will still be provided with a freshly cooked Christmas dinner, a present with a handwritten card and a food parcel on Christmas day. The present bag will also contain party poppers, napkins and a cracker.
“We have a team of drivers who will then deliver them. Even though we can’t meet up, we want them to know that they are not forgotten and that they are part of The Passage family. For many, we could be the only family they see on that day and the card and present could be the only one they open. We don’t want to miss that connection with them.
“Money is tight for everyone at the minute so the generosity of people like Rob and the team at GRACE who actively get involved drives us even more in what we are doing.
“I am part of an important, tight knit, experienced team who all work closely together. I couldn’t do this without any of them.”