Older residents celebrate Christmas with festive lunch at Hammersmith Town Hall

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Image captionLetitia Teixeira (left) and volunteer Giovanni Ferri having a Christmas Day dance

See all the pictures from the day on our Flickr photo gallery

Older members of the borough danced, ate and chatted with new friends on Christmas Day, thanks to the time and generosity of volunteers and local businesses.

More than 160 residents, who would otherwise have been alone on Christmas Day, tucked into a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, after being invited by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to a festive lunch at Hammersmith Town Hall.

The council has been organising the Christmas Day event for more than 20 years to offer those who may have no family living nearby, the chance to come together. 

The event is largely subsidised through donations from local residents and businesses and can only take place thanks to an army of kind-hearted local volunteers.

“Christmas is a time of the year for friends and family to come together, so we host this event to give everyone the chance to have a special day,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.

“We’re proud to be the only council in the country providing this service and are hugely grateful to the wonderful local businesses and volunteers who make it happen.”

Image caption: Anna Maria Monk and Ken Navani enjoy Christmas Day at Hammersmith Town Hall

Around 130 of the guests were transported to and from the event by taxi, with others, including wheelchair users, dropped off by an accessible bus provided free by London Hire Ltd.

As well as the lunch, which included wine and Christmas pudding, the guests were treated to entertainment including musical double act Andante who played popular Christmas songs and H&F Council’s own Cllr Ben Coleman, who sang some carols while playing the piano.

H&F Mayor, Cllr Mercy Umeh also attended the dinner and mingled with the guests.

Eighty-six local volunteers were on-hand to help ensure the event ran seamlessly and make sure all the guests were well stocked for refreshments and had some good company.

Image caption: Volunteers collect Christmas lunches to distribute to the guests