Newham

Early Christmas present for nearly 3,000 elderly residents

30 November 2015 in Community neighbourhoods and Mayor
Christmas is coming early for nearly 3,000 of the borough’s elderly residents who will be receiving a hamper from Newham Council in the run up to the festive period.
The hampers are packed with a range of essentials and treats and are being provided to people aged 70 and over, who live alone and are on low incomes. Each hamper includes tea, coffee, jams, biscuits, tinned vegetables and shortbread.

The gesture has been led by the council’s eight Community Neighbourhood teams, which bring local people together through activities, events and initiatives.

They also include a Christmas card from the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, a pass to use one of the council’s leisure centres and information on the Community Neighbourhood teams.

The cost of the hampers has been covered through donations from London City Airport, Aspers Good Causes Fund, Serco, Tesco, Lendlease and the Royal Docks Trust. They have also been supported by the council’s leisure trust, activeNewham.

Residents who will be receiving the hampers have been sent a letter notifying them of their early Christmas gift. They have been offered the chance to have their hamper delivered or to attend a tea party where they can meet other local residents also receiving a hamper.

Local school children have also written letters to those receiving the hampers to wish them a Happy Christmas. These will be handed out at the tea parties.

Arthur Francis, 85, from Stratford, had his hamper delivered by Sir Robin and Councillor Ken Clark, cabinet member for building communities, public affairs, regeneration and planning. Lead member for Stratford and West Ham, Councillor Mas Patel, was also present.

Born in Stratford, Arthur has lived his whole life in Newham, apart from when he was evacuated during the war. Before retiring he worked in maintenance for Marks and Spencer. He said: “It is very nice to receive this hamper and it will come in handy at Christmas. I would like to thank everyone involved who made it possible.”

The hampers are being delivered by local councillors and volunteers, while Tesco are also providing refreshments at the tea parties.

Sir Robin said: “Providing these hampers to some of the most vulnerable members of our community for me encapsulates what Christmas is all about.

“This is the second year we have handed out hampers to our older residents and just like last year they have proved extremely popular with those who have received them. It was a pleasure meeting Arthur and I am delighted we can provide him and other older people across the borough a little extra something this Christmas.

“This has only been possible thanks to the kind hearted gestures of our sponsors and the volunteers who have helped make it happen.”

Councillor Clark added: “Our Community Neighbourhood teams support and bring together local residents throughout the year. However, Christmas can be an isolating time of year, so it’s even more important to support our residents.

“This scheme goes some way to achieving this while also spreading some festive cheer. We hope they enjoy the treats in the hamper but also make new friends and find out more about the initiatives the council and organisations host in their local area.”

For more information about the council’s Community Neighbourhood teams visit www.newham.gov.uk/communityneighbourhoods or download the free ‘What’s on in Newham’ app via the App Store.