Young peo­ple give el­derly Christ­mas shop­ping help

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alan Hayes alan.hayes@trin­i­tymir­

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

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