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Did you know? Could you help? The Home Alone Christmas dinner

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The letter is also now out for this year......

 

http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/story/2013-12-17/mrs-christmas-does-dinner-for-lonely-in-sheffield/

 

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/it-s-like-christmas-has-come-all-at-once-1-6325978

 

http://www.thestar.co.uk/features/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-to-put-on-a-feast-for-the-lonely-1-4025469

 

My name is Gloria Stewart, since 2008 I have organised a Christmas lunch for some of the loneliest people of south Yorkshire, it is called Home Alone. I feel very privileged that the people of south Yorkshire have helped and supported me to give a little back to our forgotten society, After all these people didn’t ask to be lonely, it can happen to any one of us, Myself and many others are all guilty of living in our own little bubble, not giving a second thought as to how these people cope day to day. We all take what we have for granted until it is no longer there.

 

Please spare a thought for some of our most lonely, and help me give them just one day that they feel that people do care, and they do belong to our society, the lunch is for any age group, 16yrs and over, because you cannot put an age on loneliness, Home Alone was started in 2008 after a chance meeting in an hospital waiting room with an elderly lady, after hearing that since the loss of her husband four years previous, she had taken a flask of tea and a packet of biscuits and spent the festive season in bed, This was not an isolated case, there were others who told a very similar story, I came home looked around me and felt very fortunate that I had a loving family around me.

 

This lady had made such an impact on me that I needed to try and resolve this guilty feeling that was swirling round in my head. So I set myself the task to bring just a few lonely people together for one day .I sent loads of letters out to people like you, who may want to help. The people were so generous that 87 people benefitted from the generosity of others, and they all had a wonderful day. The numbers have gone from the 87 to 287 the second 300, year three, and over 400 last year.

 

Some of these people have now made friends and still keep in contact with one another. One lady who came to the first lunch was recommended to me by my local butcher, he said the only people she speaks with was the lady in her local co-op and himself, I contacted her and was shocked to find she hadn’t been out social for twenty years, because apart from the two people mentioned she didn’t know how to make a conversation with people anymore, I sent a taxi to collect her and after a little persuasion, she finally agreed to attend after approx. 30 minutes later we couldn’t stop her talking.

 

Calendar news has filmed the last five lunches and hopefully will attend this year; the radio station and Sheffield star newspaper also run the story, so I can reach the right people. after all most of these people only have the TV or radio to keep in touch with the real world, if you can help as little as £5.00. Or as much as anyone would like to donate would gratefully be appreciated. May I thank you for taking the time to read my plea, if you would like to find out more please call 01142 570460 and ask for Gloria. I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. The lunch is booked at the Niagara sports and leisure centre on Dec 17th they are donating venue free of charge, and chef is donating his services free, any donation received is for the food /wine /decorating the room and tables and a gift and card to open on Christmas morning, Any monies surplus to the lunch, is spent on thermal hats /gloves/socks for the homeless , at HARC ( Homeless and ruthless at Christmas )

 

Each year I have made the shortfall up myself to give 600 items out personally with the help of all the volunteers, I donate the food myself for Three large food hampers and raffle them at the lunch the monies raised from this , half goes to the Neonatal hospital Jessop for premature babies Sheffield, the other half goes to buy small boxes of chocolates which we take to the terminally ill in residential homes we choose two different homes each year, This is getting more difficult each year . the shortfall is getting bigger and bigger, and I am struggling on my pension to fill the gap, But this also tell me that loneliness is an issue that should be acknowledged, I am not a registered charity so don’t get any funding or grants from anyone, every penny counts when you know what it means to so many of these people.

 

Last year I was really struggling to pay for this event and was wondering how I could break the news that the day was to be cancelled, I was at one of the lowest times of my life when I received a call from the Sheffield students union. They had heard about the lunch going to be cancelled asked how much I needed and gave me the monies I was short to give them a Xmas lunch, I’m not asking for any large amounts because there are so many good causes. But if you would consider our application, I am not very good at English or spelling as you may see but I try and that is what I am trying to do give a few of a long list of forgotten people a day they can share together. I am not good with words but what I say comes from my heart, Last year I was featured on Surprise Surprise, Hollie willoughby and olly Murs gave £4000 vouchers to spend at Sainsbury’s, this was a dream come true this enabled myself and volunteers to visit 5 nursing homes to give them a party with a little tipple and entertainment and visit the terminally ill and give them a gift a card and most of all quality time speaking to them and giving them a big hug when we left. An extra 200 homeless people received thermal hats/ gloves / socks and a small box of chocks.

 

Gloria Stewart (Mrs Christmas)

 

 

 

 

 

PS I am just a normal housewife trying to bring a little happiness to people less fortunate than myself. If you know someone who is lonely and spends a lot of time alone please ring me to book them a seat

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My wife's helping out with this for the first time, she's helping with the dinner and also busily collecting presents, you can donate one or more presents by wrapping them and writing on Male or Female on it so they know who to give it to on the day.

 

Please help if you can Gloria takes on a lot herself she's a lovely lady and always appreciates any help offered.

 

Donations are of course gratefully received, I'll be making a donation myself so it can be put to good use on the day.

Edited by hezzie

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Hello everyone Gloria Stewart here,

 

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments on the forum.

 

With your donations we can help more lonely and isolated people to enjoy a special Christmas lunch. Lets give these attendees a lovely Day to be remembered.

 

Please see the following for the shoe box appeal

 

facebook.com/Homelessshoeboxappeal

 

or the gofundme page if you would like to make a donation for the meal is: gofundme.com/ub7787n8

 

Sorry, I can't do a link as I've just registered and SF won't let me do a web link.

 

Any donations would be gratefully received.

 

Thank you.

Edited by Gloria Stwrt

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Great to read your first post on Sheffield Forum, Gloria.

 

I'm going to break a habit, and correct your words:

 

You are not 'just a normal housewife'; you are an inspiration to many.

 

What you are doing is awesome and every act of kindness whether large or small that goes towards making your event so special is a miracle.

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Grosvenor Casino and Fresh Direct have arranged again to donate....The event this year is on the 14th December at Niagara sports centre......

 

100kg Potatoes

50kg Carrots,

50kg sprouts

 

20kg of turkey and

200 Pigs in Blankets.

250 crackers to give.

 

Unfortunately I am in London with work, but we hope everyone has a great day!

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Grosvenor Casino and Fresh Direct have arranged again to donate....The event this year is on the 14th December at Niagara sports centre......

 

100kg Potatoes

50kg Carrots,

50kg sprouts

 

20kg of turkey and

200 Pigs in Blankets.

250 crackers to give.

 

Unfortunately I am in London with work, but we hope everyone has a great day!

 

Once again Grosvenor Casino Sheffield will be supporting this event......20th December at Niagara H'boro.

 

The FB page is now here...https://www.facebook.com/homealonefundraising/

GoFundMe ...https://www.gofundme.com/home-alone

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This has come around again!

Rank Leisure and Grosvenor Casino Sheffield will be donating along with Birtwistles butchers...

40kg Potatoes

20kg Carrots

20kg Parsnips

20kg Sprouts

40kg Turkey

450 pigs in blankets

6kg of stuffing

 

We hope everyone has a great day

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