It's Christmas in the kitchen for Leeds super-chef

When you're busy tucking into your Christmas turkey spare a thought for Pam Clarkson who will be cooking up a festive treat for 93 people.

Pensioner Pam, who used to run a pub in Carlton, volunteered to take on the task of making sure that vulnerable elderly people in Rothwell will still have a taste of Christmas.

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The 71-year-old super-chef has organised the shopping, cooking and gift buying for the 93 guests who are looking forward to their five-course meal at Blackburn Hall.

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The only helping hand Pam will be getting is from a special team of volunteers who will make sure that guests get to and from the venue in one piece, serve up the food and help her to clear up afterwards.

Retired licensee Pam from Rothwell shows no signs of slowing down and said: "People say to me at my age I should give up catering for so many people at Christmas time, but I absolutely love doing it.

"It's like a Christmas present to myself and I hope I keep doing it for as long as I possibly can.

"My Christmas helpers turn up year after year to help me make the day really special for the elderly people in Rothwell.

"They must have big hearts as big as buckets to give up time with their own families to spread a bit of festive cheer and I can't thank them enough for their help."

Pam has even organised for gift bags to be taken to local police officers and firefighters who are working on Christmas Day in the area to thank them for their hard work. But once lunch has been served Pam still won't be putting her feet up because she will be making sure that her guests aren't leaving empty-handed.

On their way home they will be presented with a tea package containing a sandwich, sausage roll, cheese and Christmas cake.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for volunteering in Leeds, said: "This is a wonderful example of what can be achieved through volunteering.

"Pam is simply amazing and her commitment and dedication to making Christmas so special for this number of older people is just fantastic. I would like to thank her and all her helpers and wish them and all their guests a very Merry Christmas."

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