Samaritans seeking volunteers for Christmas Lunch in Singleton

CHRISTMAS TIME: Volunteer Ted Jawhary, Parish Samaritans Link Wendy Love and Reverend Michelle Hazel-Jawhary ready to help decorate the Senior Citizens Centre.
CHRISTMAS TIME: Volunteer Ted Jawhary, Parish Samaritans Link Wendy Love and Reverend Michelle Hazel-Jawhary ready to help decorate the Senior Citizens Centre.

Preparations for Samaritans Christmas Lunch in Singleton are well underway with guests expected to enjoy a delicious meal, entertainment and company at the Senior Citizen Centre on Christmas Day.

With less than four weeks until Christmas, Samaritans are calling for volunteers to ensure the event's success.

This year's Lunch is again in partnership with the Anglican Parish of Singleton. Reverend Michelle Hazel-Jawhary said the Lunch was extremely fortunate to have the support of local parishioners, some keen volunteers, supporters and sponsors.

"Additionally, we're really hoping the local community will again join us to make the day amazing," said Reverend Michelle.

"We're so grateful for the generosity of locals getting in to help with the preparations for the Lunch. What we'd love is for more volunteers to help on the day.

We are especially looking for people to host tables, serve coffee and tea, with first aid training, to do face painting, be photographers, assist with clean up, pack down and entertainment as well as set up on 23 and 24 December."

Samaritans hope that providing a free lunch, entertainment, a gift and company, will ensure that no one needs to experience Christmas alone or go without during the festive season.

To help the organisation, achieve this are sponsors Mt Owen Complex, BHP, Yancoal and Thiess as well as event partners The Bloomfield Group Foundation, Club Singleton and Majestic Cinemas.

However, there are still opportunities for other local businesses, organisations and individuals to be part of this community lunch in the heart of the Hunter.

"Samaritans Christmas Day Lunch is inclusive and organised specifically for people who are may not otherwise be able to celebrate Christmas, including the joy and connection of the season.

We do this by partnering with local people to make it all happen," said Event coordinator Kim-Cherie Davidson.

This year's event will also include the inaugural 12 Trees of Christmas competition. Entrants are asked to bring their decorated trees to Singleton Centre.

Locals will then be able to judge the Christmas trees and vote for their favourite with one tree being named Samaritans Singleton Christmas Tree of the Year 2019.

All trees will be used to decorate the venue for the Christmas Day Lunch.

"We're really excited about the 12 Trees of Christmas. It's a fun competition that the whole family can get involved in whether you're wishing to enter or simply vote for your favourite tree," Ms Davidson said.

Voting will start on Thursday, December 19 at 9am and will close at 5pm on Saturday, December 21. At the display there will be buckets for gold coin donations alongside those for votes.

"We're asking those voting for their favourite tree to leave a gold coin donation, which will go directly to Christmas Lunch in Singleton.

There are a lot of people who attend the Lunch who need our help and we can only deliver this with the support of the community," Ms Davidson said.

Registration for the 12 Trees if Christmas are open and close on Friday, December 13 at 4.30pm.

Christmas Lunch in Singleton will be held at the Senior Citizens Centre from 11am-2pm on Christmas Day and all are welcome to attend.

To be part of Christmas Lunch in Singleton as volunteer, donor, supporter or sponsor or 12 Trees of Christmas entrant contact Kim-Cherie Davidson on email at kimcherie.davidson@samaritans.or.au or mobile 0427 867 969.