The Kettering volunteers making sure everyone has Christmas lunch today

They'll be dishing up more than 100 meals

By Sam Wildman
Saturday, 25th December 2021, 6:00 am
Volunteers will be serving up free Christmas takeaways
Volunteers will be serving up free Christmas takeaways

Most of us will be sitting down with our families today and stuffing our faces with turkey and all the trimmings.

For some, however, a big Christmas lunch is not a given. They may not be able to afford it, could be unable to cook it or might not even have a home to make it in.

But, thanks to a kind-hearted team of volunteers, everyone in Kettering will have access to a festive roast this Christmas Day.

Between midday and 2pm they'll be handing out Christmas dinner takeaways, free of charge from the Eden Centre in Montagu Street.

Organiser Frank Rodgers, who spent months making sure nobody went hungry during the Covid pandemic, said: "It's great to be involved. This is the fifth year we have done it and we've learnt a lot, particularly about the number of volunteers we need.

"There's been a great atmosphere with Christmas CDs and carols."

More than a dozen volunteers will be serving up turkey and all the trimmings including stuffing, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, carrots and sprouts, with Christmas pudding and custard for dessert.

All of the food has been generously provided, free of charge, by Coop Midlands Funeral Service who have donated for the fourth year running.

For the past two years about 120 meals have been served each Christmas Day. This year they will be catering for about 140 meals and people just need to turn up between midday and 2pm to collect one.

There will also be a couple of volunteers who will be delivering meals to people in Kettering who can't get out.

It had been hoped that the Eden Centre would be able to host a sit-down meal with Christmas songs and crackers.

But for the second year running they decided to make it takeaway-only because of the spread of Covid.

Frank said: "Going takeaway-only was a very difficult decision to take and not one taken lightly, but we thought we have to do the right thing."

It will be a Christmas shift for all of the Rodgers family - with Frank's wife Hilary, daughter Grace and son Dan all helping out.

They hope to be away by about 4pm so they can sit down their own meal.

And it will be very well-deserved!