Festive meals on wheels delivers Christmas dinner to older residents in Leeds

Older residents in west Leeds have still been able to enjoy their annual Christmas lunch thanks to a local community group's festive take on meals on wheels.
The festive meals on wheels organised by Kirkstall Mafia to deliver Christmas dinner to older residents in the area.The festive meals on wheels organised by Kirkstall Mafia to deliver Christmas dinner to older residents in the area.
The festive meals on wheels organised by Kirkstall Mafia to deliver Christmas dinner to older residents in the area.

Kirkstall Mafia, a group of community organisations and businesses, made sure older residents did not miss out on their Christmas dinner this year by organising take out via a special jingle bells-playing ice cream van.

The van delivered 130 residents their festive lunches as well as a Christmas gift and locally-designed card.

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Lucinda Yeadon, community manager at developer CEG, which is a member of the Kirkstall Mafia, said: "Traditionally we support the Christmas lunch for older residents organised by the team at Abbey House Museum.

One resident in Kirkstall receives her Christmas diner from Rudolph and Father Christmas.One resident in Kirkstall receives her Christmas diner from Rudolph and Father Christmas.
One resident in Kirkstall receives her Christmas diner from Rudolph and Father Christmas.

"We were determined to still be able to bring some festive cheer despite the lockdown and with the help of Ian Smith, our local ice cream man we can.

“We delivered more than 130 lunches and made many people very happy. I also want to say a huge thank you to the local Councillors, community groups and businesses who have supported the initiative to date, as well as the volunteers who will help with the delivery.”

Adele Rae, community director of the Kirkstall Valley Development Trust, which is also part of Kirstall Mafia, said: "We are delighted to be working in collaboration with community partners to deliver Christmas meals, cards and presents to some of the older members of our community.

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"2020 has been a tough year and we have all experienced the impact of social isolation to some extent and perhaps understand better the challenges faced by those who are alone.

Members of Kirkstall Mafia organised the festive delivery to older residents in the community.Members of Kirkstall Mafia organised the festive delivery to older residents in the community.
Members of Kirkstall Mafia organised the festive delivery to older residents in the community.

"As we were unable to provide the annual Christmas party at Abbey House Museum, we were determined that the Golden Oldies of the area wouldn’t feel abandoned this year due to Covid.”

Kirkstall Mafia also includes St Mary’s Church, Hawksworth Village Bakery, Twisted Graphics, Morrisons, HAVA, Mindy Goose a local artist, Mr Whippy Leeds, HOPS, Kirkstall councillors, and Mark and Lesley Kilvington.

Their Christmas dinner project has been entered into the city-wide Covid Diaries initiative which aims to capture life in lockdown during the pandemic and document it for the future, by collecting as many people's experiences as possible.

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The Yorkshire Evening Post teamed up with Leeds City Council and developer CEG to launch Covid Diaries earlier this year and it is open to people of all ages to send in entries via video diary, blogs, photos and more - with festive entries welcome.

Public submissions will also be collected so Leeds Museums and Galleries can look at how they could be used to help support any future displays and exhibitions exploring people’s experiences of the pandemic.

Visit www.coviddiaries.co.uk for details.

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