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Food, treats and warmth - a bundle of Christmas cheer!

21 December 2015

More than seventy senior citizens of Andover and District received a surprising bundle of Christmas cheer, courtesy of AgeUK Mid Hampshire.

Each year the charity gains the support of local lift company Stannah, The Rotary Club and Andover Charities in funding, packing and delivering goodie bags brimming with seasonal food and treats from Waitrose. The bags contain all the traditional festive fayre and a few essential extras including a present from Stannah in the shape of StannahTalk, their nationwide stairlift customer-magazine.

This year the goodie-bag recipients found an extra reusable zip bag of essential ‘Winter Warmers’ accompanying the traditional treats. Winter Warmers bags contain a fleece blanket, hot water bottle, neck warmer, thermometer, flask, hat and gloves and an all-important information leaflet to encourage older people to add their details to the Priority Service Register. It’s all part of a nationwide AgeUK scheme sponsored by Scottish and Southern Energy that encourages people to be prepared in the event of a power cut.

The charitable team was joined by the Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Iris Andersen, who was delighted to be there and commented:

"How fantastic that AgeUK Mid Hampshire can make these much appreciated deliveries, year in year out, because of the outstanding support of three local organisations. Thank you to Stannah, The Rotary Club and Andover Charities who really do stop to think of others. This is community spirit at its best and I know that the recipients really do need, appreciate and look forward to their parcels that not only sustain them through the Christmas period but shout loudly that they have not been forgotten by their fellow-Andovarians."

Age UK Mid Hampshire Trustee, Clive Bagwell comments: “Once again we are so grateful to our supporters for their sponsorship to fund the cost of these gifts and their efforts in delivering them. This year over seventy ‘Christmas Goodie Bags’ went out with the bonus of a ‘Winter Warmers’ gift extending AgeUK’s message of goodwill, friendship and support for our older citizens. Thank you to all who made this possible, including our own hard-working volunteers.’

Everyone concerned gathered with her Worshipful the Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Iris Andersen, AgeUK Mid Hampshire Chief Executive, Mike Simpson, Clive Bagwell, Trustee and administrator and gift scheme organiser Valerie Partridge and Waitrose staff. They were joined by Michelle Grace, Daren Evans, Mel Webb, Amy Burton-Pye, Dave Cosgrove and Rachel Love from Stannah , who loaded up their company vehicles and were given volunteering time-out to deliver all the parcels to individual addresses in and around Andover.

Michelle Grace explains: “Every year our group of Stannah volunteers say Christmas starts with the food parcel deliveries. It’s an absolute pleasure to meet the recipients and to be able to exchange Christmas wishes too. This gift is more than a bag of goodies, it’s a hand of friendship." 

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