21 December 2016
With the average family spending more than £800 in preparation for Christmas day, the pressure to splash out is felt now more than ever. For many, the holiday has come to mean stress and expense, but Christmas traditions of charitable giving still inspire many to think of the less fortunate. Recent years have seen a surge in charitable campaigns from retail giants, addressing issues such as homelessness, poverty and loneliness. Aside from these much celebrated campaigns, a huge number of organisations also regularly do their bit to improve the festive period for others. apetito is just one of these organisations.
Figures released by Age UK this year came as a shock to many: 1.2 million people do not get the social care they need; the same amount are chronically lonely. These are issues which apetito seek to tackle all year round, and the Christmas period is no exception. Operating from 21 locations across South England, apetito will deliver over 3,000 meals on Christmas Day, visiting the homes of the most vulnerable in society to ensure they have a nutritious meal to enjoy. Multi-portions will also be taken to a number of sheltered housing sites and Christmas gatherings, to encourage groups of older people to come together and celebrate over a delicious meal.
One such example will take place in Southwark, where the apetito team will be lending their services to a particularly special event on Christmas Day. For over 70 years the 'Southwark People Care Association' has hosted a party for local residents who would otherwise be spending the holiday alone. Run on behalf of the council, the event is held at Bacon's College in Rotherhithe, the charity ensuring that anyone who wishes to attend is able to do so. For several years apetito have attended the party and cooked for up to 400 guests, providing choices ranging from a traditional Christmas dinner to Caribbean cuisine.
Service centre manager Anthony O'Meara said; "The best part of Christmas is spending time with family and friends and it is saddening to realise how many older people spend the holiday alone. My team and I are happy to spend a few hours of our Christmas taking a tasty meal to people who may not see another person on Christmas Day. Seeing the happiness this brings people makes me proud to work for apetito – we really do make a real difference.'