Caring Hitchin theatre school offers free festive community cheer

Front row: Olivia Williamson, Jas Leyland, Daisy Smith. Back row: Sam Wilson, Georgina Onourah, Alfi

Front row: Olivia Williamson, Jas Leyland, Daisy Smith. Back row: Sam Wilson, Georgina Onourah, Alfie French. - Credit: Archant

A big-hearted musical theatre school in Hitchin is set to welcome elderly people who live alone in our community to their studios for a roast dinner – and a Christmas carol or two to spread some festive cheer.

The Emil Dale Academy in Wilbury Way is hosting the free event on Friday, December 2 – and wants our generous readers’ help to spread the word.

Managing director Emil Dale is passionate about the cause as he has an elderly mum who lives on her own, and without him would be completely alone.

Caring Emil told the Comet: “We know regular friendship links over a meal provide a simple solution to the complex problem of isolation in older people.

“The benefits are enormous for both older people and hosts and volunteers. You only need do it once or twice a year to make an enormous difference to older people’s lives.

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“A third of people over the age of 70 in the UK eat alone every single day, research has shown hosting one Sunday roast a year could help tackle loneliness in older people.

“So we are looking forward to welcoming elderly people who live alone in the local community to our studios in Hitchin for a roast dinner and a Christmas carol or two – we are a musical theatre school after all!”

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There are 40 places available for the lunch – if you know someone who is elderly and living alone, Emil and all the talented pupils at the school urge you to knock on their door, tell them about the project and get them to their studios a week Friday.

He said: “We really can make a big difference if we work together.

“Get talking to people. Maybe you have elderly neighbours or even people you are aware live alone? If so then it’s time to reach out.

“Everyone at Emil Dale Academy is super friendly and we want to welcome as many people as we can – and the best news is everything on the day will be totally paid for by the Emil Dale Academy.”

Musical theatre pupil Georgina Onourah, 17, added: “Emil Dale is doing a really thoughtful thing. We all have grandparents and it’s really important to think of people who are elderly or alone this time of year.”

Lunch will be at 1pm on Friday, December 2, hosted at Emil Dale Studios, 60 Wilbury Way, Hitchin.

To get involved, email with ‘Christmas Dinner’ in the subject with attendee details including the name of the person, a contact phone number, an address, and any wheelchair requirements. Or you can call 01462 677808 if you, or they, don’t have access to email.

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