Church feeds 60 at Christmas

Volunteers: The Denton family who have cooked at the Salvation Army Christmas lunch for many years. (S)
Volunteers: The Denton family who have cooked at the Salvation Army Christmas lunch for many years. (S)

Sixty people were treated to lunch on Christmas Day in Ripon thanks to the Salvation Army and the help of volunteers and donors.

The church group has thanked all who provided their time and gave goods to help make the day on Thursday, December 25, a big success.

The Reach Out Centre on Lead Lane is a hive of activity throughout the year providing clubs every week, and at this time of year a team of volunteers cook a hot Christmas dinner and provide festivities on Christmas Day to those living in the local community who are alone or may not be able to afford much celebrating during Yuletide.

Envoy Stephanie Ruddy said: “I’m overwhelmed by the response. People have been so good – volunteers provided transport for those who needed it and toys were distributed.

“There are many around us here today in our society in need who are not readily visible.

“We try to carry on the cause which our founder, William Booth, started in helping those who can’t help themselves.

“Donations big and small were forthcoming which finance our work.”

Among those helping was at-home care company Home Instead Senior Care – which has operations in Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk – which delivered 50 gifts to the Ripon Salvation Army’s Reach Out Centre for local people who otherwise might not receive a gift at Christmas.

Stephanie said: “The gifts are very much appreciated and without such generosity from outside organisations we wouldn’t be able to do the work that we do – the help from Home Instead has been fantastic.”

Owner of Home Instead in Harrogate, Sheena Van Parys, said: “It was a great pleasure to be able to help the Salvation Army at this time of 
year.

“They do such good work and we were glad to help and to be involved in the Christmas plans at the Ripon Reach Out Centre.

“We provide care to 
older people in their own homes. Our clients are assured of regular company from their caregivers but we are hoping that our donation to the Salvation Army will allow us to reach out to people 
in our community who, perhaps, don’t receive as many visitors as our clients and who would really appreciate knowing that local people are thinking about them this Christmas.”