A charitable Christmas
Somerset Community Foundation supports many groups and charities who do a fantastic job all year round strengthening communities and helping vulnerable people in Somerset, but this December we wanted to focus on several projects funded by our grants that provide a service that is particularly needed at Christmas time.
For the last 5 years, St Benedict’s Church in Glastonbury has been providing a 3 course Christmas lunch with all the trimmings to around 150 people, and this year will be no exception. The people who attend come from diverse backgrounds, and span many generations, but all have one thing in common - they are all in need of a welcoming and supportive environment, some good food and much needed company on Christmas Day. In the past, the team have welcomed elderly gentlemen and ladies who did not want to be on their own, a young family with four children, who said this would be the only chance for them to have a Christmas dinner, some travellers who were cold and hungry, and a carer who had so many clients to visit that she dropped in for some respite and food, before going on with her work. A team of 25 volunteers work together to create and send flyers, prepare the venue, and buy, prepare and serve the food. Somerset Community Foundation provides a grant to pay for the food, but the time spent by the volunteers is crucial to delivering this much needed Christmas Lunch.
Cheddar Valley Plus operates a rural food bank for people in the Cheddar Valley communities, and support families and vulnerable individuals with food and signposting to agencies who can provide further support. The team work hard to supply a balanced diet, and additional supportive products like toiletries. Their aim is to restore beneficiaries’ independence and dignity, but they also want to tackle the causes of poverty, and operate a debt budgeting service. This directly supports vulnerable individuals and families with specific practical, realistic budgets to help manage their immediate finance issues. Somerset Community Foundation provided Cheddar Valley Plus with a grant to secure the rental of the centre where food and other products are stored and sorted before being handed out.