Hitchin academy offer spare chair to the elderly at Christmas lunch

Emil Dale students will welcome the elderly for Christmas lunch for the third year in a row. Picture

Emil Dale students will welcome the elderly for Christmas lunch for the third year in a row. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin performing arts school will host a ‘spare chair’ Christmas lunch tomorrow afternoon for the elderly.

Emil Dale Academy is offering a free lunch and entertainment for the third year running, as a way of tackling loneliness during the festive period.

Sarah Moore, who works at the academy, said: “Last year it was so heartwarming to meet and chat to so many elderly people in our community.

“They were all so lovely and had amazing stories to tell. When we gave Christmas gifts last year, one lady said it was the only present she would receive that year – it was uplifting to know a small gesture made a big difference, and we are excited to do the same again this year.

“One of the highlights last year was one gentleman, who was partially blind, asking if he could play the piano – it turned out he was a jazz piantist in his youth.

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“His carer said he was nearly crying on the way home, as he spends most of his days on his own in a cold house and his love of playing the piano is the only thing he has now.

“She said playing the piano that day was something he would cherish for a long time.

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“If you know someone who is elderly and living alone, knock on their door and tell them about the Emil Dale Academy project. Don’t leave it to someone else.

“We really can make a big difference if we work together. Get talking to people, maybe you have elderly neighbours. It’s time to reach out.”

Academy students will perform a few musical numbers, and visitors will be treated to desert and drinks as well as a full Christmas lunch.

Lunch will be served at 1pm at the Emil Dale Studios in Wilbury Way.

To get invovled, email info@emildale.co.uk with ‘Christmas dinner’ in the subject, and the attendees name, phone number, address and any wheelchair requirements. You can also call them on 01462 677808,

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