EVERY pensioner I spoke to at the Age Concern Christmas dinner told me what a delicious, freshly cooked meal they had enjoyed.
Unfortunately there was no dinner for me as I arrived just after dessert had been served, but I did get chance to find out just what this annual event means to Eastwood’s OAPs.
Some I spoke to are facing a lonely Christmas but others simply enjoy the atmosphere and use the club as a way to get out of the house and make friends.
Oldest member Emily Cooper, 92, told me she had been attending the annual event in the Colin Dyson Centre in Edward Road for 25 years.
“It’s always a very good day and a very nice meal,” she explained.
Another diner, Joyce Theakstone, 80, said: “It’s very good for the community –I’ve met a lot of good friends here over the years.”
Diners pay a small fee for the dinner to cover running costs, but most of the work is done voluntarily.
Group treasurer Josie Forrest, who has helped to arrange the Christmas meals for the last ten years, said: “We offer a nice home-cooked meal for those people that don’t get out.
“It’s great for people who might be on their own at Christmas but we do get a lot of married couples here too.
“I really hope everyone enjoyed their meal today.
“We’ve all put a lot of effort into putting it on.”
A volunteer driver takes people from all over the area, including Greasley, Underwood and Brinsley.
Dignitaries at the meal on Thursday included Eastwood Mayor Ken Woodhead, chairman of Brinsley Parish Council Vicky Syson and Greasley Parish Council chairman Christine Bird.
Cllr Woodhead said: “It’s absolutely wonderful – full marks to Age Concern. It brings the whole community together.”
Deputy Mayor of Broxtowe Cllr Margaret Handley presented the authority’s grant aid cheque for £9,050 to Age Concern before the lunch.
She said: “I think it’s an absolutely fantastic service. You have only got to look around the room and see the happy faces.
“For some of them here, this will be their real Christmas dinner.”
For more information call Josie on 01773 787130.