The season of giving in Westbourne
On the day before Christmas Eve, we were delighted to share the joy of Christmas with those in our community who didn’t have anyone to share it with.
Truly’s Restaurant on Seamoor Road in Westbourne, put on a free traditional Christmas lunch. Lauren Reading, owner of Truly’s, said ”I am doing it because there are a lot of people on their own at Christmas, who haven’t chosen to be on their own, and that doesn’t mean they don’t want to have some Christmas cheer.”
Our local butcher, Peter Trebble, donated the meat and we at Scape donated 30 bags of gifts. Many volunteers helped to organize transport to the restaurant and a local choir came along to sing Christmas carols.
Darren Slade, journalist of Bournemouth echo, helped to promote this event on the local newspaper. Truly’s festive lunch was a huge success, for everyone who attended and for those who helped to create this wonderful afternoon. It was a joy to see the happy faces of people laughing and chatting to each other. The oldest guest was 96. This letter from one of the lunch guests put a huge smile on my face and makes me wonder what more we can do as a whole community in the future!
In addition, two other independent businesses in Westbourne, The Letterbox and Westbourne Bookshop, provided drop off points for Wave 105’s Mission Christmas Toy Appeal. A total of 413 toys were donated to children in poverty by our generous community.
It is the community spirit that draws all the businesses and volunteers together to create this impact. WESTBOURNE ROCK!
The lovely Fiona from Dorsetmum started Dorsetmums Christmas Gift of Love appeal Facebook page in 2019. There are now 831 members who have signed up to this Facebook page and together the group have donated over 1000 gifts to the lonely older people this Christmas. Please see the news report from Dorset Echo newspaper here. I have been amazed by the generosity of the local mums, some of you took a long time to hand make cards and gifts. Fiona, who has got two young kids, tirelessly organised this entire event and arranged all the drop-offs and pick-ups. I often couldn’t help wondering how she managed to find the time to answer all the messages and questions every day, running all over the place. It was almost like a part time job she was taking on. Further to my surprise, she was already starting on 28th of Dec to plan for next Christmas! DORSET MUMS ROCK!
According to an Age UK report, Christmas is considered to be the loneliest time of the year for more than 1.5m older people. It is not loneliness that makes you lonely, but the feeling of being alone. How about setting up a festival of giving in Westbourne, or even nationally, to encourage more acts of kindness for community? Next Christmas, could we see more restaurants opening their doors for lonely people, more volunteers getting involved, more drop off points provided, more gifts donated? Things happen when we come together, we can reach out and do great stuff for the community! We all know bad news travels fast, so let’s spread this piece of good news even faster!
Love Scape xx