The Milton Keynes Christmas Day party for the elderly is back this year, and volunteers are needed.
The party for around 100 will be held at the Santander Building in Shenley Wood with a traditional festive lunch, entertainment and sing-alongs, Tea, coffee, biscuits and a little alcohol, a visit from Father Christmas who gives each guest a present.
A spokeswoman for the event said: “On this special day, we try to alleviate their pain of loneliness. The volunteers give our guests a gift which they cherish. The donations give our volunteers the tools and means to provide a gift which is remembered long after the Christmas decorations has been put away.
A gift of companionship and smiles are given to our guests on Christmas Day in a friendly and festive environment.”
The day starts at about 9.30am when volunteer drivers collect the guests from their home and bring them to the venue. The guests are met by more volunteers, who look after them all day until they depart about 4.30pm.
The spokeswoman added: “Volunteers are critical. Annually about 60 people extended either part or all of their Christmas Day at the event. Since many of our volunteers have volunteered for more than one year, they must enjoy themselves.
“In 2016 we lost our backing and quite a few committee members and in 2017 we had to cancel the party through no fault of our own.
“So 2018 will be different. The owners of the venue have redesigned their restaurant so we have to cut our guest numbers down to 100. We will be looking for up to 60 volunteers this year also. We are also looking for people who may just want to drive, i.e. collect the guest from home address and bring to venue, then collect again at the end of the day and return home.”
The party dates back to the 1970s when the city’s Mayor held a Christmas party at Wilton Hall for 25 elderly guests.
Donations will be welcome. All guests and volunteers can visit http://www.mkchristmasparty.org.uk/