Waitrose gives cash injection to long-running Christmas lunch event in Cirencester

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Graham Harris, Dee Drinan and Juliette Harris who organise the Watermoor Christmas Day lunch scheme Graham Harris, Dee Drinan and Juliette Harris who organise the Watermoor Christmas Day lunch scheme

A COMMUNAL Christmas Day lunch, which has been running in Cirencester for over a decade, has been given a cash injection from one of the country’s leading supermarkets.

Waitrose has donated £1,500 to the Watermoor Church Christmas Day lunch, which provides a festive meal for the disabled, poor and lonely each year.

The money was awarded as part of a competition run by Waitrose Cirencester to find organisations that help out those less fortunate than themselves at this time of year.

Dee Drinan, director of Disability Information Service in Cirencester (DISC) and an organiser of the lunch, said: “The money from Waitrose is going to improve our balance for next year. It means that we can really look at buying more things for the dinner earlier in the year.”

She explained that the annual event, which is now in its 11th year, costs around £2,500 to put on and that all the money, comes from donations from local charities.

“We start approaching the different charities in September and then the money comes in gradually between then and Christmas,” she said.

The Christmas Day lunch always caters for 100 people but Dee believes that the number of diners turning up will be much higher this year.

She said: “We get more than 100 some years and some years we get less. But I think there will be a lot more people this year as so many people are struggling. It’s terrible really.

“Things like the Christmas Day lunch needs to be brought to people’s attention to show that there is somewhere they can go.”

Four turkeys and two gammon joints are ordered in for the lunch plus Dee, along with fellow organiser Juliett Harris, will buy presents which are raffled during the event.

Representatives from Waitrose will be present at the lunch along with Cirencester mayor Joe Harris, who attends every year.

More information on the event can be found by contacting DISC on 01285 641796.

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