Covid: Christmas lockdown kindness sees gifts of trees and dinners

Covid: Christmas lockdown kindness sees gifts of trees and dinners

Lockdown has left many families’ Christmas plans in tatters – but donations of free trees, presents and turkey dinners is keeping the festive spirit alive.

Following Saturday’s lockdown announcement, well-wishers turned to social media to offer help to those spending Christmas alone.

Volunteers are helping charities deliver Christmas hamper donations.

And closed pubs are giving away food that “would have gone in the bin”.

Donations have been flying in to foodbanks across Wales, with more than 500kg of food and bags of children’s presents donated to the Wrexham Foodbank this Christmas.

Roy Fyles, of Anglesey Foodbank, who will be 82 on Boxing Day and is helping to deliver 260 festive hampers up to Christmas Eve, said: “We are doing very well and are very busy. Next week will be the busiest week of the year for us.”

He added the public response has been “rather fantastic” in terms of donations.

“We’ve had donations from supermarkets and the general public – food and shoebox presents,” he added.

“We’ve not been short of volunteers. The next two months are going to be quite challenging.”

With so many older people spending Christmas alone this year, Claire Crump-Bound, from Cardiff, offered to prepare extra Christmas dinners for those missing out.

She posted on Facebook: ” I am happy to cook extra and put a dinner up for them. Nobody should go without.”

As businesses prepared to close their doors at midnight on Saturday, one garden centre in Taffs Well, Rhondda Cynon Taf was giving away unsold Christmas trees.

Richard Morgan, of Garden Plants South Wales, posted on Facebook: “Due to the earlier announcement of tier 4 lockdown being brought forward we at Garden Plants South Wales has decided to give all our gorgeous Welsh fresh cut Christmas trees away tonight.

“Feel free to come and get a free tree whenever you like… They will be outside in the open for everyone’s safety. We will be unable to unwrap them but all our trees are gorgeous. Thank you and please stay safe.

“We would rather someone have some enjoyment from them.”

A pub in Maesteg, Bridgend, spent the morning giving away stock that “would have gone in the bin”, in exchange for donations to a local children’s cancer charity.

Steffan Jones, the owner of the Old House 1147, said Saturday’s announcement about hospitality closing due to new restrictions came as a shock.

“We’d ordered all our stock in for the weekend and were stuck with it. We sat down last night and decided to give it away and raise money for charity.”

Mr Jones was surprised by the response after posting on Facebook about the giveaway, with people queuing outside.

“We had a better response than we ever expected. Everyone was very upbeat this morning, people preferred to come and put the stock to good use rather than go to a big supermarket,” he said.

“It’s a silver lining in the clouds, there’s a positive side to it, we’ve managed to move stock that would have got wasted and raise money for a local charity.”

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