The Gainsborough Over 60’s residents were treated to a Christmas feast at the Catherine Wheel last Wednesday. The eagerly awaited annual lunch was held this year in a private function room, decorated with a Christmas tree and decorations for some atmospheric festive cheer. Organised by David Eggleton and Paula Isaac, Chair and Vice Chair of the Gainsborough Residents Association, and supported once again by SOHA, the event was a fun and delicious afternoon for Gainsborough Over 60s to celebrate Christmas.
In addition to a hearty Christmas lunch with all the trimmings — pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and lashings of gravy — the meal also came with the necessary entertainment of crackers, cheesy jokes and paper party hats. Each guest was also given a raffle ticket for an opportunity to win an array of edible, or boozy, treats. These raffle prizes were kindly donated by NOMAD food bank, who have supported the event for a number of years. Irenna Bailey, from Community Spirit, also donated two £50 cash prizes for the raffle.
Speeches were given by Gill Dodds (Committee Chair for the Over 60s Social Club), David Eggleton, John Green (Royal British Legion Henley Branch Chairman) and Deputy Mayor Ken Arlett. John Green reflected on a successful year, whilst acknowledging the importance of community and giving back to others. This was echoed by Ken Arlett, who specifically recognised the work that Paula Isaac and David Eggleton do for the Gainsborough Estate, and indeed the wider community. Thanking the duo for their constant dedication to our society, he explained that he was once a resident of Gainsborough and enjoyed seeing so much happening in the neighbourhood.
Gratitude was a common theme within the speeches; David Eggleton also took the opportunity to thank the many people who had helped to bring together the Gainsborough Over 60s for this special occasion. He expressed his thanks to sponsor, SOHA, and in particular Jackie Logan (Resident Involvement Manager for SOHA), for the provision of funds, without which the lunch would not be possible. Thanks were also given to the Catherine Wheel for being fantastic hosts, and to NOMAD and Irenna Bailey for their raffle donations.
Irenna Bailey, who heads the volunteer group, Community Spirit, was also in attendance for the lunch. This will not be her last community Christmas celebration, as she has once again organised a free Christmas lunch for Henley residents who are on their own this year. Locals are invited to the Christ Church Centre for the big day, and will be able to enjoy a festive feast and entertainment, surrounded by excellent company. David mentioned the event in his speech, encouraging people not to be on their own this Christmas. If you, or someone you know, would like to attend the Community Spirit Christmas Celebration, please email ChristmasDinnerHOT@gmail.com