LETTER: Concerned

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Re the article “Be a Santa to a Senior ….” [Express 30.12.2016] which includes references to the lunch on Christmas Day organised by us as individuals, we are somewhat concerned at discrepancies contained therein.

It refers to the “Uckfield Volunteer Group” which, as far as we know, does not exist. We have organised the lunch for the last three years, but it would have been impossible without the support of a professional chef and a number of volunteers, to all of whom we are extremely grateful and indebted.

Absolutely everybody is welcome to come, whilst it is particularly intended for anybody who would otherwise have been on their own on Christmas Day and there is no charge whatsoever.

Each year we have given a gift to each person at the lunch from the funds raised, and then this year we were approached by Home Instead, asking if we would be prepared to distribute gifts that they had been given.

We were happy to do so, knowing that some of those at the lunch would receive very few, if any, presents of their own.

The article states that we “are worried about the venture due to lack of funding and support…”.

This, frankly, is totally inaccurate and untrue. To cover the costs we have held a Quiz Night each year and that, together with unsolicited donations from a number of individuals plus generous support from a local butcher and two local supermarkets, plus donations from some of the attendees on the day, has been adequate.

We have a generous offer to cover any loss that may be incurred in the final analysis but that has not been the case thus far, and every year after the lunch we have sent every surplus penny to a charity of our choice.

Finally, the article urges any possible volunteer to visit www.uckfieldvolunteer.org.uk, which is the website for the Uckfield Volunteer Centre.

We must point out that the centre and a local jeweller kindly distribute tickets to the lunch on request but do not get involved in any way in the lunch as such. To volunteer we would urge them to approach the centre and ascertain which organisation is seeking help.

John and Teresa Lane,

Ridgewood,Uckfield