In previous years, the OSM has held a Christmas Lunch party at the Old Saw Mill for elderly and vulnerable people, serving up to 42 people.
This year The Old Saw Mill has been working with the Town Council to cook and deliver over 50 two course meals every Friday to the elderly in and around Congleton since last July, our Big Heart Lunch Club meals on wheels . With Christmas approaching, the OSM staff and volunteers decided to provide a meal on Christmas Eve which could be reheated on Christmas Day. News of this reached various Congleton Facebook pages, and within 48 hours the community had donated enough money to provide 40 further Christmas meals for those most in need or facing celebrating Christmas alone. And so it was that nearly 100 Christmas meals with pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce complete with traditional Christmas pudding were delivered by staff and volunteers from the Town Council including David McGifford, Chief Officer.
Alison Wright, Co op Member Pioneer for Holmes Chapel and Congleton has been volunteering with the OSM to help with the administration of the Friday meal delivery service, and was able to telephone 25 of the recipients of the Christmas meals on Christmas Day and without exception, everyone was delighted with their meals. “It was a real treat to have a Christmas dinner that I didn’t have to plan, shop for or cook” said one resident. Another said “You have no idea how much I miss having home cooked meals since my wife passed away”. And one lady cried as she said “I had no idea anyone cared, I thought I had been forgotten by everyone”.
Alison said “I really felt the meal delivery really helped our older people make Christmas 2020 special when they have been isolating for so long, and faced celebrating this traditionally family occasion alone. The generosity of the local people donating money for these meals was mind blowing. It enabled us to double the number of people we were able to reach, including 15 of the staff working at Congleton War Memorial Hospital on Christmas Day. From everyone I would like to pass on their sincere thanks and gratitude”.
Peter Aston reflected on the fact that since 2016 the cafe had served Christmas Lunch to 20/40 people each year and was afraid that this year we would let people down but using the cafe’s established Meals on Wheels service sending out the nearly 100 meals including Christmas Hampers had meant that The Old Saw Mill had continued the service through thick and thin! He especially wanted to thank both the several kind individual donations and the £100 donation from Congleton Lions the cafe had received to provide the meals.