'No-one left out at Christmas' pledge
THREE Huntly organisations are working together to ensure that no-one in the community is home alone this Christmas.
In the true spirit of the festive period, staff and volunteers at Deveron Projects, Networks of Wellbeing (NoW) and Gordon Rural Action (GRA) will serve up a lunch in the Stewart's hall on Christmas Day.
Aberdeenshire Council is providing the venue free of charge, a volunteer driver for Huntly Minibus will ensure no one is prevented from attending because of a lack of transport and DJ JP Gallagher will make sure the afternoon is lively.
Businesses who supported the lunch last year with donations have stepped in again to ensure that the tables will be groaning with a traditional Christmas lunch.
Butcher Graham Barber in Alford will provide all the turkey, pigs in blankets and stuffing needed while ham and vegetables are coming from Forbes Raeburn in Huntly.
Brian Beverly, Rhynie, Coldwells Organic Farm, Meg's Veg and the Town is the Garden team will supply vegetables and vegetarian and vegan options.
Rizza's ice cream is donating the desserts, shortbread and biscuits will come from Dean's, while the Tesco and Asda stores have said they will fill any gaps for the catering team.
The three groups hope to build on the success of the inaugural lunch last year. Booking is essential and will be accepted up to Christmas Eve but the number has been capped at 60.
Booking forms are available at The Brander, from GRA and NoW and should be returned to the collection point in the Brander.
Places can also be reserved by calling Deveron Projects on 01466 794494 or NoW on 01466 793732.
Caroline Gatt of the Town is the Garden team is taking the lead this year after attending the lunch last year. As friends of Mark Higgin, one of the organisers last year, Caroline, her husband Richard and daughter Mariuccia (3) were roped in to lend a hand while spending Christmas Day in Huntly.
Caroline said: "We all just love it, helping out and being in the company of so many people – it feels like what Christmas ought to be."