Whole town welcome to Christmas lunch

The Christmas spirit is alive and well with the Tumut Community Christmas Luncheon Group.

They have been holding a doors-open-to-everyone Christmas lunch for several years now, and are beginning to plan for this year’s feast.

The idea of the lunch is to bring people together who, for whatever reason, may not have anyone with which to spend the day.

“It’s for residents of Tumut who haven’t got any connections, who would otherwise be on their own,” said a group member.

“Three blokes who happened to be staying at the caravan park last year, they meandered on down and they were the life of the party. You’ve got some people who are more needy – it’s a very broad cross-section of people.”

“[People in the past] have been really happy. They’ve loved it. Already we’re being asked, ‘are you doing it again?’”

Steve Jeffrey, who currently works for Valmar, was involved in the lunch in its first year. He said things like the Christmas Lunch enable people to feel connected to the community.

“Particularly with older guys, they get segregated from the community, and they like to feel a part of the wider community – just like you and I, we like to go for dinner or go for bowls or just do things that we’re interested in – but they don’t really have the opportunity. With stuff like this, they do.

“The general interest was fantastic [the year he was involved]. There were lots of volunteers who got involved which was really good. We got some feedback, in terms of games and activities and things, so that people didn’t feel like when the lunch was over they had to leave.”

The group relies on donations to put the lunch together, but have asked people who want to pitch in to give them a call first and find out how they could be put to best use.

“If people want to be involved, contact us. If they want to donate to the group then they should talk to us about what we will be needing. We don’t want to waste people’s time and energy through them donating things that we can’t use,” they said.

They are also looking for volunteers to help them put the lunch together, both on the day itself and in the preparation time beforehand.

The lunch is held at the Tumut Showground Tearoom, from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

It generally caters for 80 – 100 people, and community transport can likely be organised to help get attendees to the showground and back.

Any questions should be directed to Patricia on 0401472161, Elizabeth on 0429472930, and/or Jackie on 0499081017.