05 Jan 2015 - Southport Station hosts Christmas Day lunch for elderly

When Southport based Paramedic Sara Lace attended to an elderly patient in 2013, she was saddened by the news he would be spending Christmas alone. With this, an idea was born to bring elderly people together for Christmas in 2014 and enrolled her North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) colleagues into creating a festive period to remember.

Sara said: “Although his carers would bring him a Christmas Day lunch, I just thought it was quite sad he wouldn’t have anyone to share it with. I got the idea to host a Christmas lunch after watching a show on the television and thought it would be great way to use our new community station and use it to do something for our community.”

With her plans approved, Sara secured funding by speaking with local supermarkets and businesses that were encouraged by the idea and donated around 75 per cent of what was needed.  Sara added: “We had a fantastic response and received several donations of money so we could have a ‘contingency’ fund. This money helped us buy those things that weren’t donated.”

Working with Merseyside Fire and Rescue, vehicles were provided to transport the guests from their homes and were able to take them home again.

Staff from the Southport community station contacted local charities and centres to advertise their Christmas lunch. With 26 guests signed up, they were treated to a four-course Christmas meal. Sara said: “They all got a welcome drink, either a Bucks Fizz or a Sherry whilst they enjoyed the range of entertainment including a brass quartet and bingo. We also had a raffle with over 50 prizes to ensure everyone went home with a prize.”

Operations Manager for Southport Station Ian Forster said: “Sara, alongside her colleagues from both NWAS and Merseyside fire and rescue are a credit to their community for the time and effort they put into this event, making it an absolute success.

“Staff from across the Trust are involved in fundraising, volunteering and other charity work. The staff at Southport worked incredibly hard and it gave the guests a Christmas to remember.”

Finally, Sara added: “Santa was made aware and dropped in to give the guests some gifts. We’ve already had requests for next year so it must have been a success.”