Warwick couple overwhelmed at community support for Christmas event helping to tackle loneliness

A couple who hosted an event for people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas were overwhelmed by the amount of support they received from the community.

Terry Morris, who is also a town and district councillor, and his wife Liz Jackson, first held their ‘Warwick Town Christmas Lunch’ for people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day in 2017.

Terry Morris, volunteers Lou Spate and Bev Botcher and Liz Jackson at the Warwick Town Christmas Lunch. Photo submitted.

Terry Morris, volunteers Lou Spate and Bev Botcher and Liz Jackson at the Warwick Town Christmas Lunch. Photo submitted.

Following this success the couple brought the event back to the Court House for Christmas 2018, of which 79 people attended.

Terry said: “When we first decided to host a Christmas Lunch in 2017, we had no idea as to how many people might want to attend. It was therefore bitter sweet to have so much interest in 2018 - we were at capacity by the end of November and, unfortunately, had to say “no” to a number of people who would have liked to have joined us on Christmas Day.

“We were also, once again, overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to volunteer their time. As was the case in 2017, we turned down quite a few offers of help as we had a full team lined up many weeks before Christmas: 24 wonderful people joined Liz and I on Christmas Day with another six helping set-up on Christmas Eve.

“Guests were entertained by caricaturist Steve Callaghan and magician Jester Styles; Choir leader Trevor Barr’s request for Carol Singers resulted in over 30 local choristers helping get the day started. Santa joined in the fun and we were also paid a visit by PC Jamie Parker.

“People find themselves alone for a number of reasons and social isolation can, and does, affect people of all ages. It was a desire to try to address social isolation at Christmas that first gave us the idea to host the event. To make that idea a reality, we needed sponsorship and have been incredibly fortunate to have had so many donations of money, food, drink, services and everything needed to make the event a true “five star” experience.

“Simply put, the Warwick Town Christmas Lunch would not be possible without the generous support of local businesses, organisations and individuals and we’d like to give a heart-felt thanks to everyone who donated.

Building on the last two years Terry and Liz will be looking to bring the event back in 2019.

“Of course, one of the first questions that we were asked after this event was ‘will you do it again’”, said Terry. “We’re delighted to say that we’ve already started planning for a 2019 Christmas lunch and have a few ideas for other events to tackle social isolation throughout the year.”

Terry and Liz would like to thank everyone who was involved in this year’s event.

They said: “We’d like to give a heart-felt thanks to everyone who has donated to this year’s event: Alderson House, Aubrey Allen, Bar Catalan, Beki’s Brownies, Booker Wholesale, Emscote Vets, Lockwoods Ski and Outdoor, Phoenix Private Ambulance Service, The Chip Shed, The Rose & Crown, Tiny Seeds Chutneys, Waitrose, Warwick Castle, Warwick Court Leet, Warwick District Council, Warwick Town Council, Wine Poole, WRCC and those who have asked to remain anonymous.”