‘If it wasn’t for this meal I’d be on my own at Christmas’

SUPPORT John Pearce, from Fareham, who is attending the Christmas Day meal organised by Christians Together.  Picture: Steve Reid (114356-535)
SUPPORT John Pearce, from Fareham, who is attending the Christmas Day meal organised by Christians Together. Picture: Steve Reid (114356-535)

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JOHN Pearce has been alone at Christmas since he lost his wife Mary four years ago.

So when he heard about a Christmas meal being organised for people like him on the big day, he couldn’t turn it down.

It is held jointly by Fareham Community Action and Christians Together in Fareham.

It gives isolated people the chance to socialise on Christmas Day and to have a big meal cooked for them.

It’s the second year in the row that John will attend the meal.

The 84-year-old, from Blackbrook Road in Fareham, said: ‘I was fed up with being on my own on Christmas Day. But then out of the blue last year came this invitation.

‘They take such great care of you. I enjoyed the meal. They had an excellent chef. I can’t fault it at all.

‘When the offer came this year I thought I will certainly go again.

‘Otherwise I would be on my own completely for Christmas Day. The first year Mary died I went to the pub for a Christmas lunch.

‘It was nice but this is a different atmosphere. It’s nice to have company.

‘When you’re on your own it’s a bit of a long day.’

The meal is free for all guests and most of the food used comes from donations.

It’s all part of The News appeal to help feed the poor, isolated and homeless at Christmas.

We’re also bidding to help provide food for meals taking place across the area on the big day and we’re encouraging butchers to come forward and donate turkeys. Food donated in supermarkets and food banks will also be contributed towards the meals.

‘I t’s a marvellous scheme,’ added John.

‘I take my hat off to the volunteers. They give up the whole day.’

To donate to the appeal, simply choose an item from the list and add it to one of our collection points.

Anyone wanting to donate any fresh produce should call (01329) 243004.

WHERE YOU CAN DONATE

Portsmouth

· Tesco, Crasswell Street

· Tesco, Clement Atlee Way, North Harbour

· Sainsbury’s, Commercial Road

· Sainsbury’s, Fitzherbert Road, Farlington

· Asda, Bridge Shopping Centre, Fratton

· Morrisons, Anchorage Park

· Portsmouth Food Bank, Kings Church, Elm Grove.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 12pm until 2pm

Havant

· Morrisons, Lakesmere Road, Horndean

· Asda, Larchwood Avenue, Bedhampton

· Asda, Portland Road, Waterlooville

· Tesco, Solent Road

· Leigh Park Baptist Church, Stockheath Road.

Monday - Thursday from 9am to 12pm

Fareham

· Asda, Speedfields Park

· Tesco, Quay Street

· Sainsbury’s, Broadcut

· Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank, Aspect House, Westbury Road, Fareham. Open Monday and Friday - 1pm until 3pm, Wednesday 12.30pm until 1.30pm.

Gosport

· Morrisons, Walpole Road

· Jacobs Well Church, Layton Road, Bridgemary 10am to midday on Tuesdays.

News offices:

· The News Centre, Hilsea

· Gosport office, 42 High Street, Gosport

· Fareham office, 88 West Street, Fareham

· Havant office, 7 West Strreet, Havant

SHOPPING LIST

Teabags

Coffee

Sugar

Cereal

Marmalade

Christmas biscuits

Stuffing

Cranberry sauce

Alcohol free wine

Box of chocolates

Crisps

Peanuts

Jar of sauce for chicken

Mince pies

Gravy

Tin of fruit

Jelly

Trifle

Christmas pudding

Custard

Chocolate selection boxes

Chocolate log