HILS spreads Christmas cheer by delivering festive meals to isolated older people on Christmas Day

For most of us, Christmas is a special time for celebrating with family and friends. Sadly, however, many older and vulnerable people living in the community spend the festive period alone, without anyone to even pop in to make sure they are safe and well.

Every year, Hertfordshire Independent Living Service, delivers meals to over half of our clients on Christmas Day. For many of them, this may be the only visit they get – so our Community Team drivers go the extra mile by providing a festive dinner and spending a little extra time to pull a cracker or tell a joke.

“It can be quite emotional” says Tracey, a Community Team driver. “But you honestly feel like you make their day.”

This year, clients received a traditional Christmas dinner with honey roast turkey with all the trimmings – including stuffing and pigs in blankets – followed by Christmas pudding or mincemeat apple crumble. They have also received a number of gifts, including mince pies and hand-made Christmas cards produced by local schoolchildren.

Sarah Wren MBE, Chief Executive of HILS, says “Everyone should feel special and valued, but particularly during times of celebration. We try to make it special for people who are alone at Christmas by providing a traditional dinner, some extra time with our team members, small gifts, and of course these wonderful cards.”

HILS will also be sending out New Year’s calendars, created in partnership with Hertfordshire Scouts who took part in a ‘Four Seasons’ drawing competition earlier this year. Sarah says, “The number of entries and quality of the creations received was overwhelming, it was very tough selecting the finalists. But they really did produce some beautiful pictures, which are sure to make our clients smile all year round.”

Last year, amateur photographers sent in their views of Hertfordshire to bring the beautiful countryside to older and vulnerable residents, who may be unable to get out and about themselves.

From all of us at HILS, we hope you had a very merry Christmas!