Young people give elderly Christmas shopping help
NOW the town centre lights are on in Uxbridge, the ‘Christmas shopping season’ is up and running.
But for some, getting in early is all part of the festive season.
Each year, a group of older people get out and about in Uxbridge on a shopping spree assisted by young people keen to give them a hand snapping up the bargains.
Coordinated by the Hillingdon Shopmobility – the charity based in the intu Uxbridge shopping centre that assists with powered wheelchairs and other mobility aids – the event is designed to make Christmas shopping accessible to those who are housebound or disabled who would otherwise find it difficult to get Christmas presents.
Pupils from Bishopshalt School, Bishop Ramsey School, Swakeleys Girls School, Uxbridge College and Uxbridge High School were on hand to guide and assist the shoppers around the town centre.
After some busy ‘retail therapy’, guests were treated to a Christmas lunch followed by carols by St Andrews’ School Choir and musical entertainment from The Salvation Army. Santa then arrived with his elves and gave guests a present. The mayor and mayoress of Hillingdon, Councillor Catherine Dann and Mrs Rita Kilroy, drew the raffle and presented a hamper per busload of guests, before all the shoppers returned home by minibus.
Key sponsors were Barclays, intu Uxbridge and The Pavilions shopping centres, with support from local retailers, particularly Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Randall’s.
St Margaret’s Church in Windsor Street, Uxbridge, Forward, Hillingdon Transport Services, the Hillingdon Community Transport and the Rotary Club of Uxbridge all give valuable assistance.
One guest, Gladys Langley of Sibley Court, Hayes End, said: “I have used the Hillingdon Shopmobility service for some 15 years.
“I was thrilled to have a cooked dinner and I managed to get all my shopping and had two lovely girls as helpers.”
Chairman of the trustees of Hillingdon Shopmobility, Nicholas Smith, said: “This is a great day when young and old can really bond together and support each other.”
n EARLY VISIT: The Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Catherine Dann, with Santa Claus, two of his elves – Nicholas Smith on left and Steve Hatswell – and shopper Gladys Langley of Hayes End Contributed