Fes­tive tea that unites

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY CHRISTY BYRNE [email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @ByrneChristy

ASOUTHPORT solic­i­tors hosted a fes­tive af­ter­noon tea for el­derly res­i­dents who may be lonely or iso­lated this Christ­mas.

Lo­cal schools and busi­nesses and a brass band helped out to make sure Hodge Hal­sall’s event went off suc­cess­fully at the Box­tree Kitchen in Churcht­town last Wednesday.

Guests were greeted by Gor­don Hat­ton, part­ner at Hodge Hal­sall, and his brass band the Skelmers­dale Prize Band.

They were then treated to freshly baked de­lights – mince pies, scones, salmon and tur­key rolls and all the tea they could drink.

Fa­ther Christ­mas even made a visit, and handed out presents and helped spread the fes­tive cheer.

A Hodge Hal­sall spokes­woman said: “It started off as a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween col­leagues and quickly es­ca­lated from an idea to a plan of ac­tion.

“Staff started con­tacted nurs­ing homes, care providers and churches look­ing for guests to in­vite, which wor­ry­ingly didn’t take long to fill all 30 seats.

“The date was booked for De­cem­ber 12, and per­sonal in­vi­ta­tions went out invit­ing guests to the Box­tree Kitchen in Church­town – a fan­tas­tic venue run by Yvonne Hodge and her army of vol­un­teers.”

The guests were treated to Christ­mas carols thanks to Mr Ward, Mr Pritchard and their school choirs from Lark­field and Church­town pri­mary schools.

The Box­tree was full to the rafters with guests, chil­dren and plenty of fes­tiv­i­ties.

The event was made pos­si­ble by the gen­eros­ity and kind­ness of busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als who live and work in South­port.

Twenty-seven busi­nesses do­nated to­wards the Spread the Joy event to help buy some­one an af­ter­noon tea, and many oth­ers pur­chased raf­fle tick­ets and helped raise over £800 for Hodge Hal­sall’s Char­ity of The Year, Queen­scourt Hospice.

The hospice pro­vides sup­port for peo­ple with se­ri­ous ill­nesses, en­abling them to achieve the best pos­si­ble qual­ity of life.

Kate Thomas, head of in­come gen­er­a­tion at Queen­scourt, said: “It is fan­tas­tic that Hodge Hal­sall have or­gan­ised such a lovely event at Queen­scourt’s Box­tree Kitchen Church­town.

“Their Christ­mas Af­ter­noon Tea for older res­i­dents of South­port, who may be feel­ing par­tic­u­larly lonely at this time of year, will not only lift the in spir­its of these more vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of our com­mu­nity, but will also fundraise for Queen­scourt at the same time.

“We are de­lighted to be Hodge Hal­sall’s cho­sen Char­ity of The Year, and to be part­ner­ing with them on such a great ini­tia­tive.”

Sarah Parkin­son, of Hodge Hal­sall, said: “As a pro­bate solic­i­tor I deal with a lot of older peo­ple, some of which are quite vul­ner­a­ble.

“It was a great op­por­tu­nity to in­vite one of our own clients to the event, some­one who we have been act­ing for since 2007.

“They have learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, are un­able to live by them­selves and un­for­tu­nately have no friends or fam­ily to visit, so, to be able to in­vite them to an event like this and show them they aren’t alone was such a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Through or­gan­is­ing this event we’ve be­come more

Left, All the guests at the Spread The Joy event

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